NEW YORK ( Associated Press) – Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred warned Thursday that the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics need to strike new deals for their stadiums and have a strong chance of relocating them if they don’t. abandoned.
“Tampa is under pressure,” Manfred said Thursday during a news conference after an owners meeting. “A deal is needed in the Tampa Bay area for the Rays.”
The Rays’ lease at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, where the team has played since its inaugural season in 1998, expires after the 2027 season. The Rays said in January that MLB rejected a team’s offer to split its game between Florida and Florida. Montreal.
“Obviously the expiration of that lease marks a certain date, but you have to bear in mind that it takes time for a stadium to be built. Isn’t it?” Manfred said. “So we’re not getting close to the point that the 162 baseball games of interest in this area should be committed to the club. I know the Rays are eager for a definition, let’s see if they can reach an agreement”.
When asked if he was considering relocating the franchise, Manfred replied, “Right now, I’m focusing on Tampa,” emphasizing ‘right now. Then he mentioned that he was referring to the area, not a specific side of Tampa Bay.
“I think someone important once said that all good things come to an end. But right now we’re focused on Tampa.”
A has played at the Coliseum since 1968 and his contract expires after the 2024 season. The A has proposed building a new stadium at the city’s Howard Terminal and is working with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff to obtain the necessary permits.
“There is significant activity in Oakland. The political process has moved a lot,” Manfred said. “I met with Mayor Schaff last week. You have done an excellent job of speeding up the process in Oakland. As you know, this California has another world. Oakland has work to be done. I think A has wisely considered the Las Vegas option. We like Las Vegas as a market. I repeat, they like Tampa We need solutions in both the markets and the time has come for that solution.
Oakland has averaged 8,283 fans per game this season, the lowest of the 30 major league teams. The Rays are ranked 25th with 13,740, ahead of Miami, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.