The 2018 season marks the Rays 13th under the leadership of Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg, who assumed control of the franchise in October 2005. His arrival marked the beginning of one of baseball's best turnaround stories.
Today, the massive rebranding of the club entering the 2008 season marks a watershed for the two decades of Rays baseball. In the club's first decade of existence, the Devil Rays amassed the majors' worst record at 645-972 (.399) and finished in last place in nine of those 10 seasons. In the decade that followed, the Rays achieved an 855-766 (.527) record, the seventh-best record in baseball, and made four trips to the postseason. In seven of those 10 seasons, including 2017, the Rays were in postseason contention until at least the final week of the season.
While the on-field successes have been the envy of small- and large-market teams alike, there is even more to the Rays progress. Sternberg takes great pride in the organization's community service and commitment to its employees.
Under Sternberg's leadership, an employee-first culture defines the organization. It is fostered through myriad initiatives, including a wellness program; a staff-led service group, the Employee Community Outreach Team (ECOT); and generous leave policies. In May 2015, the organization was recognized by U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez as a "Leader on Leave" due to its groundbreaking paid maternity, parental, adoption and volunteerism benefits. As part of this commitment to community, all employees are urged to spend one paid day each month volunteering. To date, total volunteer hours for the organization exceed 35,000. Last October, Sternberg was honored with the Light of Sight Award by the Lion's Eye Institute, for "visionary thinking in the community."
This past offseason, Sternberg and his partners invested $7 million of capital improvements to Tropicana Field focused on enhancing the food, beverage and retail experience. This project brings the total Rays investment in Tropicana Field to more than $37 million since 2005.
Under his direction, the Rays have consistently ranked as one of the most affordable experiences in all of sports, according to ESPN. The Rays earn that distinction by implementing various fan-friendly policies. The organization was the first major league team to offer free parking (still in place today for fans who carpool on Sundays) and is the only major professional sports team in Florida to allow fans to bring food into the ballpark.
In January 2015, Sternberg was named to Major League Baseball's Executive Council, an eight-
member panel that advises Commissioner Rob Manfred on major issues. He also serves as chairman of MLB's Diversity Oversight Committee, serves on the board of directors of MLB Business and Media Board and on the board of advisors of Moffitt Cancer Center.
Prior to his ownership of the Rays, Sternberg spent 25 years in the financial securities industry, serving as a partner in Spear, Leeds & Kellogg and then as a partner and managing director at Goldman Sachs, from which he retired in 2002. Sternberg and his wife, Lisa, have four children. They reside in Rye, N.Y.