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Investors want to raise $1.85 billion to buy MLB’s Rays

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Tampa Bay Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg has said he doesn’t plan on selling the team. 

But that isn’t stopping potential bidders. 

Trip Miller of Gullane Capital Partners and Tampa businessman Don Doyle Jr. are trying to attract investors to buy the franchise for $1.85 billion, according to a report from Forbes

Miller is looking to be the “control person” with $200 million while Doyle Jr. would be the top investor, according to Forbes.

In late May, The Athletic reported that Sternberg was receiving interest from Doyle Jr. and other “groups that would relocate the club.” 

Sternberg refuted that reporting at the time, telling the Tampa Bay Times that he plans “on remaining the Rays owner” and that he expects they “will build a ballpark in Tampa Bay that will keep the Rays here for generations to come.”

Tropicana Field
Getty Images

Sternberg led a partnership that bought the Rays for $200 million in 2004.

The Rays have been trying to build a new ballpark in the Tampa Bay area for more than a decade amid potential relocation rumors. 

The team has played its home games at Tropicana Field, which is considered one of the worst in baseball since it began play in 1998.  

Manuel Margot #13 of the Tampa Bay Rays hits an RBI single in the sixth inning
The Rays have struggled to attract fans to Tropicana Field.
Getty Images

The team is currently in talks to build a new stadium near the Tropicana site.

The buzz around the Rays comes as the A’s also appear on the verge of leaving Oakland, as the latter entered a binding agreement centered around a ballpark with a retractable roof in Las Vegas.

The A’s seemingly plan to move to a new stadium on the Las Vegas Strip after years of tense negotiations for a new Oakland ballpark. 

Despite excellent play on the field, the Rays have struggled to fill Tropicana Field. 

Tampa Bay Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg, left, and manager Kevin Cash
Rays owner Stuart Sternberg has said he doesn’t plan to sell the club.

With the best record in baseball this season (51-25), the Rays have drawn just 17,186 per game this season, the fourth-fewest in baseball. 

The Rays drew just 13,927 fans per home game last season, ahead of just the A’s and Miami Marlins. 

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