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Sunday, July 14, 2024
Law

Minority Owners Sue Tampa Bay Rays, Alleging Fraud

  • The Tampa Bay Rays are being sued by five minority owners, who are alleging fraud.
  • The team's stadium situation remains unsettled.
Tampa-Bay-Rays
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Rays minority owners claim they’re getting virtually no benefits of ownership and are taking their case to court — again.

A quintet of owners that collectively own 9.6% of the Rays alleged that principal owner Stuart Sternberg has committed fraud and violated Florida’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act.  

In its latest suit, the group says its ownership “has been reduced to a mere shell, with no revenues from baseball-related operations, no cash flow, and no responsibilities … to the Limited Partners.”

  • The group claims that the team was transferred into a business entity, Rays Baseball Club, without their knowledge.
  • They allege that Sternberg failed to disclose a $376 million payment from regional network Fox Sports Sun.
  • The same partners have filed two other suits against Sternberg this year.

The group now wants to remove Sternberg as general partner.

Stadium Bids Tossed

On Wednesday, St. Petersburg mayor Ken Welch announced that two proposals for the 86-acre lot that houses Tropicana Field have been tossed out, and the city is reopening the bidding process.

“Our environment has changed in many ways since the initial RFP was issued in July of 2020, and we must ensure the RFP meets our current environment and realities and incorporates the most up-to-date information,” Welch said.

The Rays’ lease at Tropicana Field expires in 2027

The team has explored a variety of options, including relocating within or outside Florida. Welch said the city aims to decide on the area’s redevelopment plan by the end of the year.

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