Thursday September 28, 2023

Rays Owner Adamant About Not Selling Team Despite Buyer Interest

  • First-place team continuing to receive unsolicited offers
  • Latest salvo leaves club leadership bewildered
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Front Office Sports Today

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Stu Sternberg has been publicly clear in his intent to remain the Tampa Bay Rays’ majority owner. But that hasn’t stopped offers heading his way for the MLB team.

Just weeks after Tampa businessman Dan Doyle Jr. offered unsolicited interest in acquiring the Rays, Forbes reports that Doyle is working with Trip Miller, founder of Tennessee-based hedge fund Gullane Capital, to mount a bid for the club.

The report said Miller and Doyle are preparing a $1.85 billion offer for the club, which would represent a 48% premium on Forbes’ estimated value earlier this year. Sternberg shot down the prior sale chatter and said, “I expect we will build a ballpark in Tampa that will keep the Rays here for generations to come. I also plan on remaining the Rays owner.”

Now, the latest salvo is being greeted with a sense of bewilderment. When asked by Front Office Sports about the reported Miller interest, a senior-level Rays source said, “I hadn’t seen it until you emailed.”

The Rays have been locked in a years-long struggle to develop a new facility to succeed the outdated Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.

As the layers of franchise turmoil continue, the team on the field remains MLB’s best. And while the Rays are still lagging behind in MLB attendance — ranking 27th in the league with a per-game average of 17,187 — the team’s 24% boost compared year-over-year is part of a larger surge for the league at the gate.

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