ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The principal owner of the Tampa Bay Rays is now backing down from plans to hang a sign at Tropicana Field during the team's postseason games.
The sign would have promoted the proposal for the Rays to "split their season" between the Tampa Bay area and Montreal.
"I made a big mistake trying to promote our sister city's plan," said principal owner Stu Sternberg. "I absolutely should have known better and I'm sorry for that. I'm here to tell the fans that the sign is not going to go up."
Sternberg spoke directly to fans on the Ray's radio pre-game show Tuesday night. He said he wanted to speak out after the news of the sign got a lot of "negative reaction" over the weekend.
He also said he still wants the Rays to pursue a "split-season plan" in 2028 after the team's lease is up at Tropicana Field.
"I love this team and I love baseball. And I’d like to think anybody who follows the team knows since we’ve been at this, the future of the Rays organization and keeping this team in Tampa Bay for generations to come is something that constantly weighs on me. And it has for years. With the sister-city plan, I know we found a way to do that exactly," Sternberg said.
The Rays will host the American League Division Series games starting Thursday, Oct. 7.