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Tampa Bay Rays, fans respond to lawsuit filed against principal team owner

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Posted at 11:01 PM, May 25, 2021

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Rays’ loss at home Tuesday ends an 11-game winning streak, just shy of a 2004 record.

Despite a red-hot May, a cloud hangs over the franchise in the form of a lawsuit recently filed against principal team owner Stu Sternberg.

ABC Action News first told you on Monday, a group of minority owners is suing Sternberg for breach of contract and constructive fraud.

The lawsuit states Sternberg engaged in a “relentless scheme to squeeze out the limited partners.”

RELATED: Rays minority owners file lawsuit against principal owner Stu Sternberg alleging breach of contract

It also alleges Sternberg began negotiations to sell the interest of the team to a Canadian businessman back in 2014, years before he publicly pitched his idea for a split season with Montreal.

Allegations listed in the lawsuit calls into question if the team violated agreements with the City of St. Petersburg.

The Rays issued a statement Tuesday, “We are disappointed that a handful of our limited partners have filed suit. The suit is deceptive and inflammatory and is fraught with error and falsehood. We have abided by the partnership agreement and the Tropicana Field use agreement.”

“I used to own a business so I kind of understand the business end of it,” said Dave Rieger. “From a fan standpoint, it’s hard, you know. I don’t want to see a split season.”

As the team sits atop the American League East, some season ticket holders tell ABC Action News they support Sternberg.

“Where have we gone since he came here? Only up, up, up,” said Ray Levasseur. “The guy has done a phenomenal job and I love him.”