10 Things You Didn’t Know about Tampa Bay Rays Owner Stuart Sternberg

Stuart Sternberg

Stuart Sternberg is someone who managed to make his personal fortune on Wall Street. However, he tends to be best-known because of his involvement with the Tampa Bay Rays, seeing as how he holds not one but two important roles in relation to the sports franchise. First, he is the principal shareholder of the group that owns it. Second, he is the Managing General Partner, meaning that he is responsible for running its routine operations.

1. Born and Raised in Brooklyn

Sternberg was both born and raised in Brooklyn’s Carnarsie neighborhood. Once upon a time, the neighborhood was a settlement for fishers, which transformed into a resort town for a time in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. By the late 1930s and early 1940s, the resort town had vanished, with the result that the neighborhood became a mixed Jewish and Italian-American suburb. Later still in the 1990s, Carnarsie had become known for being a black neighborhood with a high percentage of residents from the West Indies as well as the rest of the Caribbean.

2. Became Interested in Baseball As a Child

Like a lot of baseball team owners, Sternberg became a big fan of the sport when he was still a child. In particular, it is worth noting that he spent a lot of time playing baseball on the streets as well as in the playgrounds. Moreover, Sternberg has stated that he cherishes the memories of going to his first MLB game with his father, which was when the Los Angeles Dodgers were still the Brooklyn Dodgers.

3. Went to a Yeshiva

Sternberg came from a Jewish background. As a result, he went to yeshiva through third grade, which refers to the Jewish educational institute that is meant to provide its students with an understanding of Judaism’s traditional religious texts. Generally speaking, this means the Talmud plus the Torah. However, it isn’t uncommon for a yeshiva to include other texts in its curriculum as well.

4. Went to St. John’s University

Education-wise, Sternberg went to St. John’s University, which is a private Catholic school that can be found in New York City. Currently, the school is based out of Queens, but it is interesting to note that that the school has three other campuses plus other facilities in other locations. As for the name, St. John refers to John the Baptist, who is seen as a precursor to Jesus by Christians as well as a prophet by Muslims.

5. Started Working in Finance When He Was Still in School

Sternberg got an early start in the finance industry. After all, he started working as a trader in equity options on what was then called the American Stock Exchange when he was still a student at St. John’s University. As for the subject that he was studying in school at the time, it should come as no surprise to learn that it was finance.

6. Bought a Plurality Share From Vince Naimoli

In May of 2004, Sternberg bought a plurality share in the Tampa Bay Rays from Vince Naimoli, who was the one who founded what was then called the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. During his time as the head of the sports franchise, Naimoli was famous for his involvement in running the operations as well as his thriftiness, with an excellent example being his unwillingness to pay for Internet for the Tampa Bay Rays because he thought that email was nothing more than a fad.

7. Once Speculated to Be Interested in Buying the New York Mets

On previous occasions, Sternberg has been the subject of speculation that he was interested in buying the New York Mets. For the most part, this was founded on two reasons. One, Sternberg was known to have been a season ticket holder for the New York Mets. Two, Sternbreg has been known to express frustration with the Tampa Bay Rays because of low attendance as well as its resulting effects on the sports franchise’s finances.

8. Discussed Moving Tampa Bay Rays to Montreal

In 2014, there were reports that Sternberg had discussed the idea of moving the Tampa Bay Rays to Montreal with some of his Wall Street associates, which was motivated by his concerns regarding the market for professional baseball in the Tampa Bay Area. Of course, Montreal used to have a MLB team of its own in the form of the Montreal Expos, which went through a long period of gradual decline until the sports franchise relocated to Washington, D.C. to become the Washington Nationals in 2005.

9. Implemented an “Employee-First” Culture

Sternberg’s profile with the Tampa Bay Rays claims that he has implemented what is called an “employee-first” culture for the sports franchise. Essentially, this means that the employees enjoy a number of benefits that are meant to bolster their wellbeing, which presumably has a positive effect on their productivity as well. One example of these benefits is a wellness program, while another example consists of generous paid adoption, parental, and volunteerism benefits.

10. Has Come Up with the Idea of a Split Season

Currently, Sternberg seems set to implement a split season with Montreal for the Tampa Bay Rays, which means that the baseball team will be playing some of its games in one place and the rest of its games in the other, according to Forbes. Unsurprisingly, this has raised concerns that he is planning to relocate the baseball team in stages, though Sternberg has continued to deny that this is the case. Instead, he has stated that the Tampa Bay Rays just can’t continue on a full-season basis in the Tampa Bay Area because of low attendance, thus making this a solution for its financial problems without needing a full relocation.

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