We’ve written before about a Montreal baseball revival. But now there’s some real talk about the possibility that the Rays, for instance, could see Montreal as a real alternative if plans for a new stadium don’t work out in the Tampa area.
As we’ve pointed out, the Montreal business community is much different than it was in the past. There are large telecom companies and financial institutions with big money. The city would need a new stadium, but Montreal baseball has a very strong grass-roots movement to explore the possibility.
As one AL executive pointed out recently, “Other cities — Washington D.C. and Seattle — have received second chances for franchises. It appears that Montreal would be a viable second-chance city given the financial opportunity there now. There have always been great baseball fans there. They never had a venue that was desirable for baseball and the economics never allowed them to keep the great talent they developed over the years.”
Former Expos outfielder Warren Cromartie, one of those spearheading the return of major league baseball to Montreal, said the group he’s formed will soon announce the results of a feasibility study, which Cromartie said has been positive.
Montreal will also host spring training games March 28 and 29 between the Blue Jays and the Mets, a sign that MLB sees the city as a viable option for expansion and/or relocation. Unfortunately, the games will be played at Olympic Stadium, but part of the feasibility study includes the building of a downtown stadium.
“We’ve sold 50,000 tickets for the games already,” Cromartie said. “We’re very excited about these games and a big gala we’re going to have. We hope to bring back all of the old Expos, like Pedro Martinez, Larry Walker, Moises Alou, and many others. We’re going to honor Felipe Alou. It’s going to be great.”
I think people have forgot just why the expos are gone.
With NO salary cap the BIG city team have ALL the advantage. They can afford to offer ANY PLAYER 300mil contracts ( or less) to jump from the Expos to their team. Near the end Montreal were just a farm team for these BIG cities. We the Expo fans started to see the truth about the way the MLB is setup with a hard tilted playing field. Expo fans and the Expos themselves started to ask the MLB for the CAP to level the field and for a few years the MLB would just plain LIE to us all to keep us buying tickets.
If you want proof? just how long ago did the MLB promise a cap? it's still NOT hear. It's all LIES LIES AND MORE LIES. Now people want baseball back. WELL NO, not until a CAP first, I won't be lied too again only to see my new team once again become a simple farm team for the rich and greedy all at MY EXPENSE ( tax money, ticket money, hot dog money and oh yes WE would have to build a BIG NEW STADIUM at our expense. Keep your MLB, I don't want any part of it. I don't want any part of the drugs, the lies, the cheating anymore.
I think people have forgot just why the expos are gone.
With NO salary cap the BIG city team have ALL the advantage. They can afford to offer ANY PLAYER 300mil contracts ( or less) to jump from the Expos to their team. Near the end Montreal were just a farm team for these BIG cities. We the Expo fans started to see the truth about the way the MLB is setup with a hard tilted playing field. Expo fans and the Expos themselves started to ask the MLB for the CAP to level the field and for a few years the MLB would just plain LIE to us all to keep us buying tickets...
I agree, a cap would be a necessity and without it I don't see anyone (ie future owners) wanting to bring back a team to Montreal.
Although some teams have manage to compete with low payroll. There is a lot of revenue sharing and TV contracts in MLB and when the Expos left the Canadian dollar was worth 60 cents not 90-95 cents like today.
If you decide your payroll is 60-70M$ (plausible for Montreal) you can still have some success and show some quality baseball to fans... Of course when the next Vladimir Guerrero shows up you might lose him to the big spenders...
2013 season, playoff teams in blue and worst 5 team in red
New York Yankees $228,995,945
Los Angeles Dodgers $216,302,909
San Francisco $142,180,333
Los Angeles Angels $142,165,250
Chicago White Sox $124,065,277
St. Louis $116,702,085
Chicago Cubs $104,150,726
New York Mets $88,877,033
Kansas City $80,491,725
San Diego $71,689,900
Tampa Bay $57,030,272
Bottom line, the support wasn't there last time, I see it turning out the same way if a 2nd time comes...
Not enough hardcore baseball fans in Montreal to support a team long term.
The big O wasn't a great place to watch games, but it was comfortable, no rain, snow or cold. The Expos had darn good teams a lot of the 90's yet fans only showed up occasionally and the corporate world never fully bought in.
A new stadium would intitially bring in more fans but gradually regress and go back to struggling.
Personally I would love to see the Rays move to Montreal and stay in the AL East, but things would eventually stay the same, stars would be traded like they do now(TB) and the Expos always did and support would once again dwindle...
I think the city would be crazy to say no to the Tampa Bay organization if they came to them looking to relocate. If the Expos could be revived and played in the AL East I think there would be a lot of new interest in baseball in Canada. Sure there would be costs associated with building a new stadium, at least Montrealers would know where there money is being used. But a staduim can be multi-functional and add other economic means. It could be used for concerts, special football games, heritage classic, etc? I just dont think expansion will ever be an option. I imagine the cost of buying a expansion team would be in the range of $200-$300m, while building from scratch and potential winless years would be a tough sell in a market such as Montreal.
As an old Expos fan, It would give me a reason come to visit Montreal in the summer if they were around.