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Ballpark plan for Rays? Sternberg talks timeline

MLB.com @wwchastain

Rays owner Stu Sternberg believes the team should "have a good sense of where things are headed by year's end" regarding the pursuit of a new ballpark, according to a report in the Tampa Bay Times.

Thus, according to Sternberg, the team won't likely have to ask for an extension on the deadline to let St. Petersburg know if the Rays will be leaving Tropicana Field before the end of the 2027 term.

Rays owner Stu Sternberg believes the team should "have a good sense of where things are headed by year's end" regarding the pursuit of a new ballpark, according to a report in the Tampa Bay Times.

Thus, according to Sternberg, the team won't likely have to ask for an extension on the deadline to let St. Petersburg know if the Rays will be leaving Tropicana Field before the end of the 2027 term.

Of concern to many in the St. Petersburg area has been how a new ballpark would be financed, and how much the Rays planned to contribute for a project that has been estimated at $800 million. Sternberg, who originally suggested the Rays' contribution to be approximately $150 million, allowed that the number is still fluid, contingent on factors such as naming rights and sponsorships.

"The more we can sell, the more we can contribute," Sternberg told the Times, noting that it's a matter of "all the pieces coming together" and that there has been a lot of excitement in the area for the project.

"There are all these things," Sternberg said. "There is money out there, there are sponsorships out there, there are fans out there ... and it's got to coalesce."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004.

Tampa Bay Rays