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Breaking Down The Lawsuit Against Stuart Sternberg

Stu Sternberg at St. Petersburg City Council
Tampa Bay Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg addresses the St. Petersburg City Council at their April 15 meeting (screenshot)

The latest twist in the future of the Tampa Bay Rays now comes as a matter of litigation, as a number of minority partners have filed a lawsuit in Pinellas County against the team’s managing partner Stuart Sternberg, alleging that Sternberg looked to wrest sole control of the franchise away by squeezing the minority partners out of their shares.

Among the allegations in the lawsuit are that when Sternberg bought into the club, he made an secret agreement to pay founding owner Vince Naimoli management fees for 12 years after he ceded control to Sternberg, and that when using club funds to purchase the remainder of Naimoli’s shares in the general and limited partnership, he allocated most of the interest to himself and his controlling entity, 501SG.

The suit also alleges that Sternberg used high-pressure tactics in order to purchase additional interest in the club from minority partners at what they believe to be less than fair-market value, and also began negotiations in secret with Stephen Bronfman and the Montreal Baseball Group in 2014, a full five years before Sternberg announced the “split-plan” for the team to spend half the year in Tampa Bay and the other half in Montreal.

You can read the entire lawsuit for yourself.

Rays Lawsuit by ABC Action News


Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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