Montreal baseballMontreal Mayor Denis Coderre is planning to meet with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred about bringing baseball back to the city according to CBC Sports.

The meeting should be of little concern to fans of the Tampa Bay Rays, a team often associated as a potential relocation target, as the meeting was requested by Coderre and not Manfred after the commissioner said earlier that he would be willing to meet.

More importantly, the mayor admits that he will travel to New York for the meeting without a plan on how to bring a team back to Montreal which means the city is no closer to building a new stadium and probably still has no idea how to finance one.

“We need a plan, we need a step-by-step approach,” Coderre told the Canadian Press. “You don’t pull the flower to make it grow faster.”

You also don’t move a flower from Florida to Montreal to make it grow faster, but I digress.

Manfred has repeatedly said MLB could end up back in Montreal, but only if they get the “right facility” (i.e. a new stadium).

There is evidence the Rays have at least passively looked at the Montreal market as a potential home even if Stuart Sternberg has said he would sell the team before he would move it. However, if this is a race between Tampa/St. Pete and Montreal to build a new stadium, the Bay Area is the tortoise and Montreal is the blind hare with no legs.

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14 Comments

  1. Geoff Peterson says:

    Montreal is also the 19th largest North American TV market and Tampa Bay is the 15th largest by a significant margin. MLB isn't going to relocate to a smaller TV market with virtually no current baseball viewership given the money that TV contracts are bringing today. It's not so much about butts in the seats anymore as it is who and how many are watching.

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    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      Although, to play devil's advocate, a certain percentage of Tampa Bay fans would follow the team on TV even after the move, so that would add viewership outside of Montreal.

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      • Dwight says:

        Certain percentage: 4%
        And, follow on TV....how, exactly?

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      • Alex says:

        I highly doubt people would follow the team if they left.

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        • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

          Why would you doubt that? Should the Rays leave (which isn't happening) would Rays' fans just pick a brand new team at random? Why not follow the players you know and love?

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          • Drew S says:

            Because over half of them will no longer be with the organization within two years LAWL

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          • JMN says:

            I'm sure there are a ton of Washington Nationals fans in Montreal

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  2. Schlomie BarMitzvahCircumScissorStein says:

    Nah, Rays fans probably would not follow after being jilted. The area has been jilted too many times by MLB in the first place.

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  3. edward williams says:

    is it me , or do I remember how montreal had real bad attendance when they had the team, seems to me a no win situation for mlb, but I could be wrong, wouldn't be the first time lol.

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    • stu says:

      u are right, the Expos had some of the weakest attendance in MLB history. I'm talking 3000-5000 fans per game - making the Rays look like the Cardinals.

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  4. Big Mo says:

    From what I have read, Luria did everything in his power to sabotage the Expo's forcing MLB to contract them. I heard he went as far as not renewing the local tv contract so the fans couldn't watch on TV. I think Montreal to MLB is like LA to the NFL a dance partner to leverage against local teams to entice new publicly funded Stadiums. Having travelled to Montreal I don;t see the locals going for a new stadium there. I think if the Rays were to leave they would go to NY/NJ area. I think NYC/Jersey could support a third team.

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    • Geoff Peterson says:

      They could support a 3rd team but in today's world the powerful Yankee/Mets ownership would never agree to that in a million years. They'd lose fans, viewership, merchandising money, etc. Even a large payoff to grant the franchise would never make up for the billions lost in the decades to come. It would also effect future TV contracts, etc. And don't tell me the Yankees and Mets would all of a sudden agree to share regional TV revenues equally because if MLB teams were willing to do that, they would have already done so and we wouldn't have the big market vs. small market issues that exist in baseball.

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  5. Schlomie BarMitzvahCircumScissorStein says:

    Sure wish the Rays would remove the concrete and surround the stadium with all glass. It would be so nice to be able to see outside during a game. I know it sounds weird but at baseball games, part of the enjoyment is seeing the surroundings.

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