Tampa bay Rays to share team with Montreal...

Started by The Zipp, June 20, 2019, 06:13:18 PM

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The Zipp

Could this really work??


The Tampa Bay Rays received permission from Major League Baseball's executive council to explore a plan in which they would play early-season home games in the Tampa Bay area and the remainder of the year in Montreal, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN.

While the plan is in its nascent stages, the Rays have embraced the two-city solution as the most feasible to saving baseball in the Tampa Bay area after years of failed attempts to build a new stadium in the region, according to sources.

The return of baseball to Montreal, which lost the Expos when they moved to Washington, D.C., and became the Nationals before the 2005 season, has long been speculated and has significant support among power brokers in the city, including Stephen Bronfman, the private-equity magnate whose father, Charles, was the Expos' original owner.

Under the plan, the Rays would play in new stadiums in both the Tampa Bay area and Montreal, according to sources. The ability to play games early in the season in Florida would preclude the need for a domed stadium, cutting the cost of a new building. A month ago, Bronfman -- who along with Montreal businessman Mitch Garber has expressed interest in taking a minority stake in the Rays alongside owner Stuart Sternberg -- reached an agreement with a developer on a site in Montreal's Pointe-Saint-Charles neighborhood to potentially build a new stadium. The number of home games each city would receive has not been determined, according to sources.

Significant hurdles remain for the plan to take root, sources said. Though two cities sharing a team isn't entirely novel -- the Expos played 22 home games in Puerto Rico in 2003, and in the NBA, Kansas City and Omaha split Kings home games in the 1970s -- the long-term viability of the plan remains in question.

MLB's executive council, which includes Sternberg, nevertheless gave the Rays permission to explore the sister-city possibility during owners meetings Wednesday and Thursday, according to sources. For more than a decade, the Rays have sought to build a new stadium in Tampa or St. Petersburg, Florida, where they currently play at Tropicana Field. Their lease runs through 2027, and a Tampa Bay-Montreal dual-city plan would necessitate finding a stadium site in Florida as well. The timetable for any potential move likely depends on whether the Rays can strike a deal in the Tampa Bay area for a new stadium, according to sources.

The Rays' average attendance of 14,546 is the second lowest in MLB despite their 43-31 record. Their opening-day payroll of around $65 million was among the lowest in baseball. Along with the difficulty in securing a new stadium, a paucity of local revenue and a poor local television deal, the Rays have been seen by other cities as a target for relocation -- a possibility, should the Tampa Bay-Montreal plan fail.

A deal with Montreal would keep the Rays in Florida while potentially adding significant revenues to the franchise. Montreal offers a robust corporate base for sponsorships and a fervent fan base that could easily support what would amount to a half-season ticket plan. Other teams could object to the Rays occupying two geographical territories, though the support of the executive council to explore the possibility, sources said, constituted a significant step forward.

It is too early in the process, sources said, to answer other questions, such as the name of the team or where playoff games would be held.


This seems ridiculous to me at first glance, but could this be a thing?
My wife is amazing!

Norlorne Dr.

Yeah this seems a little far-fetched.  But I guess anything is possible.

Sir Blue and Gold

This is really cool. Especially in baseball. They play six million games and splitting between two cities would mean they have twice the corporate support to tap into and a bit more scarcity in both markets. It's sort of unorthodox but it seems like a rather ingenious idea.


Tampa mayor says an unequivocal No.  End of story.

The idea is pretty good, midsummer ball games in the Tampa sweatbox is a tough sell, and early season snow dates in Montreal are pretty hard tickett to get rid of as well... makes sense if they can share the team.  Playoffs become an issue, though...
Unabashed positron.  Blue koolaid in my fridge.  I wear my blue sunglasses at night.  Homer, d'oh.


The idea make no sense. For starters the players, coaches, and management would have to have two homes. One in Tampa and another in Montreal. If this team makes the playoffs where would they play. Both Tampa and Montreal need new stadiums. What about taxes?
Don't go through life looking in the rearview mirror.


Baseball is a sport that is in trouble.  While the NFL, NBA, and NHL have increased in popularity in the last 25 years, the MLB is in free-fall. Even in 2002, they had nowhere to put any teams, and the Twins and Expos were nearly folded by the league.  The Expos owner finally moved the team to Washington DC in 2005, but there was virtually no interest from other markets.

The same thing is happening now.  Baseball cannot expand, unless they drop operational costs, and the expansion fee. Nobody wants a team.  The Expos can very well get a team again if a new stadium is build, and the political will is there, but as a whole, Baseball has fallen off drastically from being arguably the #1 American sport up until the 80s.


TBH this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen..I can hardly see it as a business point of view because in the view of a fan I have zero interest. Its not like TB and MTL are in the same metro area like NY Islanders split games between Long Island and Brooklyn. Its not even the same country and literally the furthest point from you in the other country. There is no fan identity with TB keeping its name. I cant even believe this was being explored lol.