“What I’ve said to you in the past, I’ll say to you again, and I’ve said this to Stu quite a bit. I’ve been through a lot of these things over the last 20 years, actually the last 40 years, and I understand that, but, look, they’ve run a great operation, they’re a very competitive organization, they have very competitive teams. As I study the attendance every day, looking where they are, to see that they’re No. 29, I think it is, in attendance is not, is, it’s inexcusable. Nobody can defend that.
“This is a very competitive baseball team. I know they’ve had a lot of injuries, so on and so forth, and they’ve missing (Evan) Longoria and all that is true. But the average major-league attendance is between 31,000 and 32,000 and if my memory is serving me well this morning, it’s about 19,000 something, Tampa’s attendance. Now if they were a club in last place every year the last five years you’d say, well, look, after all, you are what you are and you’ve got to do better.
“It’s disappointing. And I know that people down there, some people, will be offended. Not the fans, not the people who go every day and I know they have great intensity, the people there. As all of you know, I watch a lot of games every day, sometimes all 15 of them, and I pay great attention not only to what’s happening on the field, but to the attendance.
“So to use my father’s old line, nothing is ever good or bad except by comparison. I’ll rest my case. It’s disappointing. And I’m concerned.”
How much longer until Bud and Stu work on a negotiated settlement with Tampa to get the Rays out of their lease before 2027?