|Stuart L. Sternberg
THE 2015 SEASON capped a decade of unprecedented achievement for the Rays under Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg.
Since he assumed control of the franchise in 2005, the Rays have become one of the greatest turnaround stories in sports and a model of sustained success in Major League Baseball. In Sternberg's 10 years as owner, the Rays have posted six winning seasons, five 90-win seasons and advanced to the postseason four times. The "Devil Rays" had finished last during seven out of the eight seasons before his arrival.
Following the 2015 season, Sports on Earth ranked the Rays first among the 30 major league clubs in spending per win during Sternberg's tenure. In 2014, Bloomberg Business named the Rays No. 5 in its rankings of the "smartest spenders" among the 122 MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL franchises.
While the on-field successes have been the envy of small and big market teams alike, it only partially defines the Rays progress under Sternberg. His commitment to community service is evident in the team's philanthropic investments in Tampa Bay. Through grants and other contributions, the Rays and the Rays Baseball Foundation together have invested more than $26 million in the Tampa Bay region since 2008. Focusing primarily on youth and education programs in the region, the Foundation continues to expand its reach and impact. The club encourages players who sign long-term contracts to support the Foundation and all employees are urged to spend one paid day each month volunteering in the community.
In 2014, Sternberg initiated a round of capital improvements to Tropicana Field with the creation of 360-degree pedestrian circulation around the lower seating bowl and a reimagined batter's eye gathering point. The project builds on the more than $20 million the Rays have invested in the park since 2006.
During his 10 seasons, the Rays rank sixth in most affordable experience for fans among the 122 major sports franchises, according to ESPN's Ultimate Fan Survey. It was under Sternberg's direction that the Rays became the first major league team to offer free parking (still in place today for fans who carpool on Sundays) and the only major professional sports team in Florida to allow fans to bring food into the ballpark.
In January 2015, Sternberg was named to Major League Baseball's Executive Council, an eightmember panel that advises Commissioner Rob Manfred on major issues. He also serves as chairman of MLB's Diversity Oversight Committee.
Prior to his ownership of the Rays, Sternberg spent 25 years in the financial securities industry, serving as a partner in Spear, Leeds & Kellogg and then as a partner and managing director at Goldman Sachs, from which he retired in 2002. Sternberg and his wife Lisa have four children. They reside in Rye, N.Y.