Add the Rays’ owner to the list of people who are all for splitting time in St. Petersburg, Fla. and Montreal.
The possibility has been speculated ever since the Rays were granted permission from Major League Baseball to explore the potential of being a two-city team. While Florida and Montreal aren’t the closest to one another, team owner Stuart Sternberg admitted his team is just not fit to be in the Sunshine State full time.
“In spite of our successes on the field and the development of a growing fan base across this wonderful region, we greatly lag behind the rest of the league,” he said in a press conference Tuesday, as transcribed by theScore. “We are at or near the bottom in every economic category in Major League Baseball.
“… We are simply not well-suited for a Major League Baseball team that needs to draw tens of thousands of people each of its 81 games to its ballpark,” he added. “… And to force that to happen here when the conditions are not right could be more than damaging to a team, to Major League Baseball, and, most importantly, to a community. (We must) confront that reality and have a conversation about how to keep baseball here for generations to come.”
He certainly does make some valid points. The Rays have struggled mightily with attendance, despite Tampa Bay winning 90 games last season and having a 45-33 record on the year.
But is splitting a season between two different countries really worth it?
While nothing is set in stone for the Rays to spend half their season in Montreal, we now know Sternberg is 100 percent behind the split if it indeed does happen.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images