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Any thoughts to moving Rays to Montreal?
9 years ago  ::  Mar 29, 2014 - 1:59PM #1
laurenfrances
Posts: 48,012
Wow.. two sold out ST games in Montreal over 40,000 fans. Those fans are hungry for baseball.  MLB should take notice.  I wonder if theri are any thoughts to moving Rays to Montreal?  Except it would be have to be part of AL east franchise?  Two Canadian AL East frachise would be kind of difficult....

As reported ...
 

Selig has said consistently that MLB has no plans to expand. The potential relocation of the Tampa Bay Rays, then, appears to be the most realistic scenario. With each passing year, Selig has grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress on a new stadium for the entertaining, well-run Rays.


The next couple years probably represent the Rays’ last, best chance to secure land and money for a new stadium in the Tampa Bay region. The new mayor of St. Petersburg has struck a more cooperative tone with Rays owner Stuart Sternberg than his predecessor, who resisted Sternberg’s request to explore other municipalities in the area.


The Rays also have a team built to win the World Series this year or next, with ace David Price headed for free agency after the 2015 season — if he isn’t traded before then.


One way or the other, the Rays’ future is reaching a critical juncture. They had the worst average attendance in the majors last year despite reaching the postseason for the fourth time in six seasons; if that trend doesn’t change quickly, the payroll is likely to come down from its current level. The Rays probably need a shovel in the ground within the next two years, or Sternberg’s admirable patience will expire.


Meanwhile, Montreal is proving itself to be a viable alternative. Friday’s crowd was roughly 13,000 fans larger than the Rays drew for either of their home playoff games last year.


McHale was circumspect when I asked about the Rays’ lack of progress on a new stadium, saying, “That’s not really something I can comment on, but you can draw whatever juxtaposition you think is right based on the facts known to you.”


So, there is room for Montreal to dream. The practicality hinges on two questions: Could Olympic Stadium, antiquated even two decades ago, be serviceable for a season or two while a new stadium is constructed? More importantly, would local ownership have the benefit of public funding in a country — and, specifically, a province — that has been reluctant to make such commitments in the past?

9 years ago  ::  Mar 29, 2014 - 2:13PM #2
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015

They'd need a retractable dome stadium up  there.  There's still somewhere around 10 years left on the Rays lease.  St Pete isn't going to just let them move without a buyout of some sort, probably full price.

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
9 years ago  ::  Mar 29, 2014 - 2:18PM #3
Max
Posts: 42,830

If I owned that team I'd move them ASAP because they have the worst fan base in MLB. 

.
9 years ago  ::  Mar 29, 2014 - 2:52PM #4
yank0428
Posts: 18,446

Mar 29, 2014 -- 1:59PM, laurenfrances wrote:

Wow.. two sold out ST games in Montreal over 40,000 fans. Those fans are hungry for baseball.  MLB should take notice.  I wonder if theri are any thoughts to moving Rays to Montreal?  Except it would be have to be part of AL east franchise?  Two Canadian AL East frachise would be kind of difficult....

As reported ...
 


Selig has said consistently that MLB has no plans to expand. The potential relocation of the Tampa Bay Rays, then, appears to be the most realistic scenario. With each passing year, Selig has grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress on a new stadium for the entertaining, well-run Rays.


The next couple years probably represent the Rays’ last, best chance to secure land and money for a new stadium in the Tampa Bay region. The new mayor of St. Petersburg has struck a more cooperative tone with Rays owner Stuart Sternberg than his predecessor, who resisted Sternberg’s request to explore other municipalities in the area.


The Rays also have a team built to win the World Series this year or next, with ace David Price headed for free agency after the 2015 season — if he isn’t traded before then.


One way or the other, the Rays’ future is reaching a critical juncture. They had the worst average attendance in the majors last year despite reaching the postseason for the fourth time in six seasons; if that trend doesn’t change quickly, the payroll is likely to come down from its current level. The Rays probably need a shovel in the ground within the next two years, or Sternberg’s admirable patience will expire.


Meanwhile, Montreal is proving itself to be a viable alternative. Friday’s crowd was roughly 13,000 fans larger than the Rays drew for either of their home playoff games last year.


McHale was circumspect when I asked about the Rays’ lack of progress on a new stadium, saying, “That’s not really something I can comment on, but you can draw whatever juxtaposition you think is right based on the facts known to you.”


So, there is room for Montreal to dream. The practicality hinges on two questions: Could Olympic Stadium, antiquated even two decades ago, be serviceable for a season or two while a new stadium is constructed? More importantly, would local ownership have the benefit of public funding in a country — and, specifically, a province — that has been reluctant to make such commitments in the past?



They left Montreal for a reason. It's easy to get fans for two games but a whole season is a different story.

9 years ago  ::  Mar 29, 2014 - 11:54PM #5
JonahFalcon
Posts: 25,531

The Return of Youppi.


http://media.tumblr.com/5bb1162d8928fec3a07a134cb271fa29/tumblr_inline_mgwoc7KB4w1qa12tx.jpg

9 years ago  ::  Mar 29, 2014 - 11:56PM #6
JonahFalcon
Posts: 25,531


 They left Montreal for a reason. It's easy to get fans for two games but a whole season is a different story.




Yes, the reason was the disillusionment of the cancellation of the 1994 season with the best record in baseballand the players strike that followed, as well as the salary dumping of stars like Pedro Martinez, Vladimir Guerrerro, John Wetteland, Tim Raines, etc and seeing them get rings elsewhere.

9 years ago  ::  Mar 30, 2014 - 7:46AM #7
Paterson
Posts: 8,659

Mar 29, 2014 -- 2:18PM, Max wrote:


If I owned that team I'd move them ASAP because they have the worst fan base in MLB. 




   


  Yeah...but they have about the best local television ratings in the game. There are baseball fans in the area...they just gotta figure out a way to get monetize that! 

9 years ago  ::  Mar 30, 2014 - 8:03AM #8
yankeeoldfan
Posts: 12,741

Rays aren't going anyplace right away.. They have quit a few years left on a lease that will hold them in Tampa for the next few years.. Only if they would buy out their lease and move, but I don't see that happening, the owners seem to be too tight with their money to do that right away ??


It's tough to understand with the success that team has had that they wouldn't get a better following ?? I think the place is full of retired people and would just as soon watch them on TV then go through the bother of going to the games and then driving home after the game is over.. Old people are more content in just being home at night and watching the games on TV...

9 years ago  ::  Mar 30, 2014 - 9:06AM #9
GottaGoToMo
Posts: 84,895

In the long run I don't think the fan base will be any better ... two games does not a season make.

9 years ago  ::  Mar 30, 2014 - 9:31AM #10
61in61
Posts: 26,516

Kenny Singleton has always maintained that Montreal is a good baseball town. The Expos failed, in part, due to the dismantling of the team by its owner. He then sold the team to Jeffrey Loria, who made a mess of things and then sold the team to MLB when he bought the Marlins. The Expos downfall was incompetent management, not a poor fan base. If the Rays were playing in Montreal they would be a huge success.

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