I'm sure you woke up this morning to blockbuster news from Ken Rosenthal in the Athletic regarding a possible sale of the Rays, which included those wanting to take the Rays out of the Tampa Bay area entirely. Let's be clear right now, the Rays are going absolutely nowhere.
For one, from Rosenthal's Athletic piece, with additional reporting from Chandler Rome, there is a local buyer ready to step up and buy the Rays should they ever be for sale. He notes Stu is still in the talks with other investors and those with capital for this stadium project in St Petersburg.
As for one possible local buyer, that would be Dan Doyle Jr., who's the chief executive officer of DEX Imaging, a Tampa-based business that bills itself as "the nation's largest independent provider of office technology with a local touch," is the potential local buyer. Something to know about Doyle Jr. He founded and served as managing partner of a St. Petersburg-based real estate development and holding company prior to founding the business in 2002.
Doyle and the Rays are not talking, except for this little nugget from Stu to the Tampa Bay Times. "I anticipate we will create a ballpark in Tampa Bay that will keep the Rays here for generations to come. I also intend to continue being the Rays' owner."
That right there, tells me that Stu wants a stadium deal done by the end of the year and Ken Welch, St Petersburg's mayor has already said this going to get done by year's end and given that the lease at the Trop ends in 2027, there's some urgency to get this done by the end of the year. The state of Florida isn't going to get involved, Ron DeSantis has seen to that as he opposes any tax dollars to fund stadiums. Given what happened with the Marlins fiasco, I wouldn't blame DeSantis on this one, regardless of what you think of him.
My take on all this reading Rosenthal's piece, this is all posturing and yes, the buyers are there and if Stu does sell, most likely Dan Doyle would buy the team and possibly take them across the Bay to Tampa. I still say the Rays are staying put and not going anywhere. Besides as Brady Farkas of FanNation points out, the team isn't even currently for sale.
Tampa Bay Rays Attracting Potential Buyers That Could Keep Team Local or Relocate Franchise (Brady Farkas piece from 5/21/2023)
Rays have potential buyers, both local and for relocation, interested in franchise: Sources (Rosenthal/Rome Athletic Piece from 5/21/2023)