(In 1993, I wrote my first book, Stadium For Rent: Tampa Bay’s Quest for Major League Baseball. In 2015, I updated the backstory of the original Tampa Bay Devil Rays, adding interviews with founder Vincent J. Naimoli and his eventually successor as majority owner, Stuart Sternberg. Today, August t26, 2019, we learned of the passing of Mr. Naimoli, a figure whose death will be mourned, but whose legacy is a mixed one. For those who never knew him–and out of respect for those who did–I’m excerpting Chapter 27 of Stadium For Rent below. RIP Mr. Naimoli. — Bob Andelman)

This is the end to one story, but the start of another.

Vincent J. Naimoli, founding owner, Tampa Bay Rays, Weekly Plaet cover story by Bob Andelman

Vincent J. Naimoli, founding owner, Tampa Bay Rays, Weekly Planet cover story by Bob Andelman

A blizzard of lawsuits began falling from coast to coast even before the National League announced its final vote on Tampa Bay’s bid to relocate the Giants. First came the San Francisco group’s pre-emptive bid in a California court to have a judge declare that Magowan, Shorenstein and the others had not interfered with the Naimoli-Lurie contract. Then Frank Morsani, the man who tried to buy the Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Oakland A’s and an NL expansion team, launched his $100-million suit—filed under the Florida Antitrust Act of 1980—against Major League Baseball and 60 specific defendants.

Morsani’s suit was small change compared to the one filed by Vincent Naimoli, a $3.5-billion counterclaim against the City of San Francisco and the investors who were given the opportunity to buy the Giants by the National League. Naimoli and the City of St. Petersburg then filed another suit, this one to have their indemnification of Major League Baseball declared null and void. St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay Baseball Ownership Group had agreed they would not sue baseball—if baseball conducted negotiations in good faith.

Exactly seven days after the vote in Arizona, Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth subpoenaed National League President Bill White.
No more games.

The Antitrust Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Committee scheduled hearings on whether Major League Baseball’s antitrust exemption—which had, since 1922, protected baseball from rules of general business practice and common decency—had outlived its usefulness to the nation.

St. Petersburg took steps to convert its $1.5-million “Join The Team” season ticket reservation fund to a “Join The Fight” legal defense fund for the coming battles with baseball and San Francisco. Season ticketholders were asked to pledge their $50 reservations to the fight. A newspaper ad for Join The Fight shirts read “Don’t Get Mad—Get Even.”

More than 100 Tampa Bay area attorneys, working through the St. Petersburg Bar Association, donated their services to the fight.

Tampa Bay baseball fans, accustomed to unreasonable and extreme frustration, took out their anger in creative ways. Many called into WFLA radio’s 1-900-370-FANS line to blow off steam. “We wanted 1-900-STICK-IT or 1-900-SHOVE-IT, but those prefixes weren’t available in this dialing area,” station operations manager Gabe Hobbs told the Tampa Tribune. A portion of the charge per call was donated to the Join The Fight legal defense fund.

Paradigm Communications (creator of the “May the team come true” advertising campaign) and Native Sun Sportswear (“Tampa Bay Mariners” T-shirts) teamed up on a new T-shirt that caught the mood of the community. Above the words “Tampa Bay Salutes Major League Baseball” was a baseball glove with four fingers folded down.

The Advertising Air Force flew a banner over the Florida Suncoast Dome with a message of its own: “Sue Baseball.”

And St. Petersburg resident Roy Staggs stood on a street corner for six hours collecting loose screws which he then sent to the National League.

Lawsuits were last on the list of preferred options for the Tampa Bay investors, the City of St. Petersburg or area baseball fans. All they ever wanted was what baseball fans in more than two dozen cities live for: to hear the cry of “Play ball!” from a big league umpire, to take pride in an August pennant drive, to argue about whether ERAs and Ks were more important, to complain about overpaid ballplayers and to joke about bonehead decisions by their team’s manager.

Maybe it was too much to ask in a small town, but Tampa and St. Petersburg had long considered themselves to be big cities and together, a top market. Over 15 years, fans and businesses put their hearts and wallets on the lines for baseball.

The people of Tampa Bay were knocking at baseball’s door. One day, baseball would let them in. Or else.


(The following interview originally appeared in the July 13, 1995 edition of Weekly Planet, a Tampa Bay area alternative newspaper, previously and later known as Creative Loafing.)

The phone is ringing in Vincent Naimoli’s Rocky Point office, eleven floors about Tampa Bay, two floors above his friend and New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner’s office. Naimoli’s secretary informs him that Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the Chicago White Sox (and the NBA’s Chicago Bulls) is calling, wanting Vince’s ear.

“Tell Jerry I’ll call him back,” says the jocular managing general partner of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. “I’m busy.”
Busy, indeed.

Naimoli has ricocheted in recent weeks from politicking the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners and St. Petersburg City Council, where he won another $50-million tax-subsidized investment in upgrades and refurbishment for the ThunderDome (formerly the Florida Suncoast Dome), to choosing the architectural firm (Lescher & Mahoney) which will do the job, to who-knows-what.

And those are just his baseball-related chores.

Besides championing the community’s baseball dream team, Naimoli, 57, is also a corporate captain, helming Anchor Industries, Harvard Industries and others. On the side, he’s vice-chairman of the board at the University of Tampa (he begged off of assuming the chairmanship after the Devil Rays were awarded); sits on the board of directors or advisory board of Florida Progress, Jewish National Fund (although he’s Italian); Pinellas County Urban League), Notre Dame University College of Business the Outback Bowl (formerly the Hall of Fame Bowl) advisory board; and—this will surprise some—he’s also on the board of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

He’s also a husband and father of four girls.

Naimoli is a reluctant star. He still relishes the nine months he spent anonymously pursuing a relocation of the Seattle Mariners and then the San Francisco Giants. His life changed for good on August 7, 1992, the day then St. Petersburg Assistant City Manager Rick Dodge introduced him to the community as the new owner of the “Tampa Bay Giants.”

“We announced the Giants deal and the next week, (Tampa Tribune sportswriter) Tom McEwen had a party at his house,” Naimoli recalls. “I was stuck at the Dome that Sunday and my wife went to the party. He said to her, ‘Your life is never going to be the same’ and it’s really worked out that way.

“Being a business guy, I would try never to talk to the newspapers. Business writers would call up and you’re afraid you’re going to say something which is not public knowledge and the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) will sue you. So I would shy away from that. I was not a public person.”

Now, not only does he talk to reporters at all hours of the day and night but strangers approach the big man in shopping malls to shake his fleshy mitt and request his autograph. He appreciates the warmth and glad tidings of the community, but misses the old days.

“If I had my druthers,” Naimoli says, “I’d like it to stay the way it used to be, honestly.”

And that’s as good a place as any for an interview to begin.

WEEKLY PLANET: Have you changed personally through all of this?

VINCENT NAIMOLI: I’ve probably gained some weight. (He laughs.) I don’t know if it’s a function of aging or getting less exercise because of more time spent on business rather than playing tennis. I’m hoping we’re going to take care of that when we get the weight and conditioning room at the Dome. I’ll hit that for half an hour a day.

Tampa Bay has been trying to get a baseball team forever. So many guys have gone to bat, so much money has been expended. Why you, why now?

I guess it was our time.

Certainly the whole experience of the Giants helped us. We’d already gone through that learning process and got to know the owners, all the people who make decisions in baseball. So I guess we benefited from the learning process.

Is there any one owner who you won over since the Giants experience?

I think the people who voted against us on the Giants deal didn’t vote against us because they didn’t believe in the area. I think they were just reluctant to move a franchise, reluctant to break up traditional rivalries. I think it was a vote for stability.

I want to ask you about the owner who is No. 1 with a bullet on Tampa Bay’s hit parade, Florida Marlins owner Wayne Huizenga.

It’s interesting because we have the minutes of the expansion meeting now that we’re invited to the ownership meetings. And Mr. Huizenga spoke up very vocally for expansion, for us and, in fact, made the motion for us. It was seconded by Jerry McMorris, principal owner of the Colorado Rockies, by the way.

He became a real advocate of ours.

He has been seen in the past as a pariah among Tampa Bay sports fans, a man standing in the way of our getting a team. Now you and he are virtually lodge brothers. Do you have a different take on the man?

I guess we’re all as good as what we did yesterday. And what he did yesterday was on our behalf.

Given a choice between a statewide Devil Rays rivalry with Huizenga or (New York Yankees owner) George Steinbrenner, the other baseball team owner living in Tampa, which would be more fun?

Oh , I . . . I wouldn’t want to be in competition with George. George is such a great guy. For all he’s done for the community, I wouldn’t want to do that at all. George deserves a very special place in this community and this world. Naaah. And given my druthers, I’d rather not compete with the Yankees in the A.L. East. I’d rather compete in the A.L. Central.

Baseball hasn’t decided whether the Devil Rays will be National League or American League . . .

No. It’s really a question which is tied into inter-league play, when might there be another expansion, things like that. I doubt we’re going to hear much about that. I guess, officially, they don’t have to decide until the first of ‘97. I think there are studies going on on things like inter-league play, which will be presented in the next nine months. So I don’t see anything being decided for at least 12 months.

There are fierce rivalries in hockey between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Huizenga’s Florida Panthers; in Arena Football, between the Tampa Bay Storm and Orlando Predators. Knowing the history of Tampa Bay and Huizenga, if you had your preference, wouldn’t you like to be in that situation with his Marlins?

Well, I think it would be terrific, but I don’t see how the American League can give up the whole Southeast to the National League. And, in fact, if it does go where we’re in the American League and Phoenix (Arizona Diamondbacks) is in the National League, it would precipitate inter-league play and we would have the best of both worlds. We would play the Marlins anyway, and probably the Braves.

As a long-time baseball fan, how do you feel about inter-league play?

I think it’s terrific, I really do.

I grew up in New Jersey. Back in the days of 16 teams, I just thought it was marvelous when the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants played. It was such a great rivalry. The Dodgers never played the Yankees until the World Series. But had they played them before, in regular season, I always thought it would be great. And I always loved the pre-season exhibition games.

I think when you get to 30 teams, you have to adopt some new traditions. (He laughs.)

There was a lot written during the Giants period about how you were a boyhood Giants fan.

I was a Dodgers fan, really. (USA Today baseball writer) Hal Bodley wrote that I was a Giants fan and I figured . . .

Let it ride.


Actually, I miscommunicated with him. I said I was a football Giants fan and a Brooklyn Dodgers baseball fan.

But I really gave up baseball when the Dodgers left Brooklyn in 1957. So I have some empathy with the owners who voted against the transfer of the Giants to Tampa Bay. (He laughs.)

When you thought you had the Giants, how did that compare to the day you were presented as the owner of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays?

Well, I gotta tell you, (Giantys executive) Al Rosen told me, during the Giants days, “You’ll never have the feeling in life like when you walk into that owners’ meeting and people start applauding.” Of course, we didn’t get to do it in the Giants days. We did get to do it on the 9th of March. When (Diamondbacks owner Jerry) Colangelo and I walked into that room—Al was right. It was an indescribable feeling.

Did that beat closing a deal for Anchor or Harvard Industries?

Yeah! It was actually a standing ovation in the owners’ meetings. When you close one of these (Anchor or Harvard) deals, no one ever stands up. All they ever do is pile your desk with legal documents. (He laughs.)

There was an initial unpleasantness after the announcement; some people were unhappy with the name of the team.

A TV station (WTSP Ch. 10) called us and said, “We know the name.” And we said, “We’re not going to tell you either way, but don’t (announce) it because you just don’t realize what it is.” When they leaked that two days before (the official announcement), just the name, no logo, it was really a disservice to the community.

Major League Baseball did and continues to do consumer research. And what they find is that when people are asked, “Do you like this name and logo?” it runs 80 percent in favor. People don’t get the explanation of the name but they like the ring of it. (And) if you look at our logo and colors, they aren’t like anything else in baseball.

We originally had a different logo which was excellent, which I just loved, a diamond and a sunset and a devil ray flying through it. Left to my own devices, I probably would have picked that one. But when we saw this new logo, it was just so unique and so different. The focus groups were so positive, we figured we had to go for it.

You must feel good now, a couple months later, knowing the animosity about the name has died off.

I’m the same as everybody else, I’m a regular person. I saw it, I had the reaction. Then I went through the logic and saw the logo. I saw it demonstrated with all these other, very sophisticated people. So I knew it would all die off.

And I never thought of it having anything to do with the devil. To me, it was a creature.

Somebody brought up in one of our meetings that the oldest high school in St. Petersburg is the Green Devils. And (Devil Rays General Counsel) John Higgins, who went to Duke University Law School, said, in North Carolina, a very religious area, the Duke Blue Devils use a devil as their logo. So we never connected it with Satanism or anything like that.

Then it got bizarre when somebody said something about Satan’s dog—I said, give me a break!

The press is going to shorten it to “Rays.” “Catch the Rays.” In fact, we’ve had some marvelous ideas for a foundation using “Rays.” It’ll be a lot of fun. And when people see our uniforms, they’re going to like them, too.

What role will your team play in the community? What role will the ownership play?

Well, the team is a mighty economic generator. There have been many studies done in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee and Atlanta on the impact of their baseball teams. We’re talking about something that’s plus or minus a $200-million economic impact on the community. The team makes small companies big in lots of ways.

I don’t think people really have the realization of what’s going to happen when you get 45,000 people a day, 81 times a year at a game. It’s going to create a lot of opportunities, a lot of jobs. If you consider we’ll probably have 1,000 people working at the stadium, then consider the ripple effect on beer and soft drink distributors or food purveyors or the people who make that food, the raw materials that go into them, the airline personnel, the number of people who will pass through the airport, the number of new tourists—it staggers the imagination to begin to imagine how much is going to be added to the area. The millions of impressions that we’ll have in every newspaper in the country and many in the world every day of playing in St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay. It really defies the imagination.

As far as the ownership group, if you look at the composition of the ownership group, they’re all locals. They’re all people who answer every call. There’s hardly a charitable event out there that these owners aren’t involved in or supporting in some way. They’re people who aren’t going to move out of the area so you know darn well that what they’re going to do is that which is best for the area, that which is going to enhance and not detract from their reputation in the area. It’s powerful to have local owners, especially local owners who have spent a substantial part of their careers in the area.

How will the lives of young people be affected? How will their lives be any different?

It’s going to have a lot of affect. First of all, I think all the social ramifications of the area will be enhanced. We’ll have more clubs, more nightspots, more people coming in, more jobs, more entertainment. We’ll also, because our profile as an area will be improved so much, we’ll be a destination for more corporate relocations. And that will help young people.

Do big league sports have any impact on the arts? Do they take money away from the arts or create more opportunities for the arts?

That’s a good question and I guess I haven’t focused on it.

The arts benefit somewhat from the tourist tax. Big league baseball will attract more tourists, therefore there will be more tourist tax money spread around. I know, being on the board of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, we go every year and ask for a bunch of money, so I think it will help. But one of the things these studies have found is that a third of the people who come to a baseball game actually stay over for a period of time. And I would think when you get people coming in, they’re going to look for other things to do during the day. We’ll have many night games, so certainly they’re going to go to the beaches. But they’re also going to go to the Florida Aquarium and Busch Gardens and the museums, any place which offers some entertainment or cultural value. The Dali Museum could get a few more visitors than it has in the past.

What impact has the baseball team already had on St. Petersburg?

I think it’s a source of pride. It’s gotten the community away from being also-rans getting a team.

Don’t you wish play would begin sooner?

I wish it had been a year earlier, in ‘97. We could not be ready before ‘97 because there are things that have to be done to the Dome to bring it up to the 21st century, and the construction schedule is such that we’ll be done comfortably for ‘98 but it would have been tough for ‘97, to do it right.

From a scouting and development standpoint, it gives us a big head start. Having a short season development team playing in ‘96 allows us to actually get players and a system a little earlier. It also allows us to do a whole bunch of scouting before 1998.

Yeah, I wish it had been ‘97; on the other hand, I don’t feel the pressure we would have felt, and I think the quality of product is going to be better because we’ll have another year of planning. Not just the quality of product but the entire ambiance of the facility, the surroundings and our whole way of doing business.

As we’re sitting here, the Tampa Sports Authority has decided to level the Big Sombrero and put up a new stadium for the Bucs. They’d like to have that ready to go for 1998. I would think you could probably suggest better timing.

But I don’t see football and baseball as competing with each other for disposal income. When you look at it, there are many fans that will go to one or the other. It’s a difference of playing eight games vs. 81 games, different ticket prices. I don’t think there’s direct competition between the two.

Can we support three major professional sports franchises?

It’s a question which remains to be answered.

The area is growing. The area is a very big area, getting bigger. Our demographics on disposable income are very good. But at the end of the day, I don’t know what the answer is. I think it’s a function of price and value. What’s the quality, what’s the entertainment value, what is it you’re really getting for your money?

There hasn’t been much progress on construction of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s new arena in downtown Tampa; they’re already staying at the ThunderDome another year beyond what was planned. What happens if the Lightning has no new arena any time soon and their stay at the Dome starts overlapping into the first baseball season?

I don’t know. I know there are discussions going on between the city and the Lightning. We want to help the Lightning in any way possible. I’m sure there will be some inconvenience to us in 1995-96 in terms of construction but probably something we can plan around. I don’t know what the architects schedule is for ‘96-’97, and until such time I can’t tell you what would happen if the Lightning wants to be there in ‘96-’97. ‘98, we know the answer.

They wouldn’t be welcome?

It’s not that they wouldn’t be welcome, I just don’t know how it would work.

Are relations between you and the Lightning strained because you were both competing for an NBA expansion franchise?

I don’t see it strained because I don’t see the Lightning as any competition with our group getting an NBA team. I’m serious.

Are you still in the hunt for an NBA team?

I think if an NBA team would come to this area there is no question that it would be awarded to our group.

Are you still open to that opportunity or do you have your hands full?

It’s something we’ll continue to monitor. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’re going to see an NBA team for quite some time, if ever.

I think the proximity of Orlando has to be considered. If you have two basketball teams within an hour and a half of each other with the population base Orlando has, with the population base we have, I think you have to look carefully at it. Look at it this way: is this area big enough to support two baseball teams? I think the answer is no; I think the answer is one. I think the same logic applies to basketball.

That answers one question, sort of. Here’s another: Do you think at some point you’ll be supporting baseball in Orlando?

At some point in the future, sure. You read stories that Florida is growing from 14-million to 20-million people and as that growth comes, yeah, sure, it’s gonna be huge.

Wayne Huizenga wanted at least a two-year head start on Tampa Bay getting baseball; he got five. Would the Devil Rays need more than that before endorsing baseball in Orlando?

Whether or not there’s going to be a baseball team in Orlando isn’t going to be our decision. It’s going to be a function of demographics.

Is baseball going to make you and/or the city of St. Petersburg richer or poorer?

I can tell you that neither I nor any of our partners have gone into this to get richer. It’s a community endeavor. Of course, we don’t want to lose money.

I had a call from one person who is a potential expansion candidate in the future and he said, “What’s your best advice to me?” I said, “First, I have to ask what you’re in this for.” He said, “Well, I’d like to make some money.” I said, “Then don’t invest in this. You have to start with the parameter of doing this for the community. Because if you’re doing it to make money, I can give you at least 20 other things to invest your money in that will make you a lot more money.”

The reason I got in this originally was that a friend of mine said to me there’s nothing more you can do for the area you live in than bring a Major League Baseball franchise to them. And the more I think about the ramifications of that, the more I agree with it.

You realize some people will read that and think, “That’s a pretty narrow perspective on life.”

(He laughs.) That could be. But when you look at the club, we’re talking about an attendance of 3-1/2-million. We’re talking about impressions around the world. What else can do that? You can do some heinous things, as recently happened in Oklahoma City. God forbid that should ever happen here. But what can you do on a sustaining basis that would get more publicity around the world for an area, than baseball?

There are people who look at the deals you made with St. Petersburg and Pinellas County to rebuild the ThunderDome—they feel St. Petersburg taxpayers are already tapped out from paying for this stadium. Is anything ever going to make them feel differently?

Well, we have created revenue streams for people in St. Petersburg. But, look, I wasn’t involved in building the stadium. It was here. The stadium was costing people $6-1/2-million a year. Whatever they’re paying now is going to be reduced significantly from having a team here, so you have a cost-avoidance.

But how can anyone really say what the value is? For instance, if all that property (around the ThunderDome) gets developed because there are restaurants or bars or hotels or whatever built, and the tax rolls increase significantly, how do you ever offset that against what the cost is? How do you offset the notoriety and number of people coming into the area or corporate relocations? Look at it a different way. If it cost the city $6-1/2-million and soon it’s going to cost $2-1/2-million, it’s like having a $2-1/2-million advertising budget. And how much benefit do you get from the advertising budget? Does the advertising budget bring you additional people to create new taxes, new services, new enhancements to the area?

Many new sports team owners are heartily welcomed by their communities, but after a season or two—whoa. Public Enemy No. 1
The best answer I can give you is, if we could write our epitaph as an ownership group, what we’d like the fans to say is, “Here’s an ownership group that were really proud of.” If you use that as a guiding principle, you make a lot of decisions a certain way.

Tampa Bay Times called Stadium For Rent (Second Edition) “Notable” for 2015 baseball season!



Tampa Bay’s Quest for Major League Baseball

returned to print just in time for

Tropicana Field’s 25th Anniversary (02-28-15)

and the continuing discussion of where the

Tampa Bay Rays should build their next stadium.



2nd Edition, Expanded, Updated, Illustrated


Stuart Sternberg, managing partner, Tampa Bay Rays, Maddux Business Report by Bob Andelman

Stuart Sternberg, managing partner, Tampa Bay Rays, Maddux Business Report by Bob Andelman

STADIUM FOR RENT: Tampa Bay’s Quest for Major League Baseball: This is the true, complicated story of the decades-long battle to bring a baseball team to Florida’s West Coast.

Back in print for the first time in two decades, Bob Andelman’s detailed investigation has been updated and expanded with hundreds of political cartoons and photos that illustrate the community’s sometimes brutal campaign, as well as an all-new introduction by best-selling sportswriter Peter Golenbock (Dynasty; Red Sox Nation; Balls; George) and an afterword by award-winning Tampa Bay Times sports columnist Gary Shelton (http://www.garysheltonsports.com). Plus, interviews with original Tampa Bay Devil Rays franchise owner Vincent J. Naimoli and the man to whom he sold managing interest in the team, Stuart Sternberg.

No baseball, business, or community development bookshelf should be without this one-of-a-kind story.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/StadiumForRent

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/andelman

Website: http://www.mrmediabooks.com

Available anywhere books are sold!


Tampa Tribune editorial cartoon by Wayne Stayskal

Tampa Tribune editorial cartoon by Wayne Stayskal

“Journalist Bob Andelman tells in painful detail how close (Tampa Bay) came to winning… Recommended for serious sports collection.”

– Morey Berger, Library Journal

“Andelman points a finger not at the bay area’s civic leaders but at the panjandrums of baseball. He provides an impeccably researched play-by-play of every inning of this high-stakes game in which the home team has been shut out… The story is compelling, and in Andelman’s hands, it’s masterfully organized and written.”

– Tom Chase, Spitball: The Literary Baseball Magazine

“A phenomenal read. The guy did his research… I became so engrossed, I couldn’t put it down… a superb job on how he put it together.”

– Erica Stuart, associate producer, 60 Minutes, CBS-TV

“Andelman put it in perspective.”

– Tom McEwen, “The Morning After,” Tampa Tribune

St. Petersburg Times editorial cartoon by Don Addis

St. Petersburg Times editorial cartoon by Don Addis

“Andelman tells the bittersweet, folly-filled tale of Tampa Bay’s courtship of a major league franchise—the Florida White Sox, perhaps, or the St. Petersburg Marlins. St. Petersburg, in particular, just couldn’t take no for an answer and built a beautiful stadium, despite a lack of encouragement from Major League Baseball. As it was probably always destined to do, the franchise went to Miami, and St. Petersburg’s stadium is the elaborate home to tractor-pulls.”

– John Mort, Booklist


– Tedd Webb, 970 WFLA Radio

“In Stadium For Rent, Bob Andelman details St. Petersburg’s journey from stalking horse to major league market with great skill and attention to detail. It’s impossible to fully grasp the impact of the worst-to-first AL pennant winners of 2008 without learning how they came into existence.”

– Jonah Keri, author of The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First

St. Petersburg Times editorial cartoon by Clay Bennett

St. Petersburg Times editorial cartoon by Clay Bennett

“A work that could cause an iceberg to boil. It has everything but a happy ending, rattling off the aggravation we’ve endured here in the clinical manner of an autopsy.”

– Joe Henderson, Tampa Tribune

“A home run… If you think there was a lot of public game-playing (if you’ll pardon the pun) going on while the City of St. Petersburg kept getting the short shrift, you should read the book to see what really went on.”

– John J. Tischner, Pinellas County Review

“A finely detailed account of this region’s dubious distinction for taking brush-back pitch after brush-back pitch from the denizens of the diamond… It isn’t a pretty story. It isn’t even ugly. Just pathetic. Stadium For Rent is a good, albeit frustrating read.”

– Dan Ruth, Tampa Tribune

“The best parts of the book are Andelman’s portrayals of personalities who led the baseball effort. Among them: Jack Lake, the cantankerous newspaper manager obsessed with getting baseball; Frank Morsani, the remarkably baseball-naive car dealer; and Rick Dodge, the steel-willed assistant city manager who bounced back after each defeat only to become embroiled in yet another plan.”

– E.A. Torriero, San Jose Mercury News


Bob Andelman is the host and producer of Mr. Media® Interviews, a video podcast begun in February 2007 (http://www.MrMedia.com). He is also the author or co-author of 15 books, including: The Wawa Way with Howard Stoeckel; Building Atlanta with Herman J. Russell; Fans Not Customers with Vernon W. Hill, founder of Commerce Bank and Metro Bank UK; Mind Over Business with Ken Baum; The Consulate: A Novel with Thomas R. Stutler; The Profiler with Pat Brown; Built From Scratch with the founders of The Home Depot; The Profit Zone with Adrian Slywotzky; Mean Business with Albert J. Dunlap, and Will Eisner: A Spirited Life.

Andelman and his wife, Mimi, live in St. Petersburg with their child, Charlie, a student at Florida State University, and loyal terrier companion, Chase.

“STADIUM FOR RENT: Tampa Bay’s Quest for Major League Baseball”

Author: Bob Andelman

Trade Paperback; 456 pages; Retail Price: $19.95

ISBN-13 978-1507655061

ISBN-10 1507655061

Publication Date: February 2015