Sunday, March 23, 2014

Are You Ready for Another Round of Rays-to-Montreal Talk?

Later this week, the Blue Jays will play a pair of exhibition games in Montreal, which will no doubt unleash a torrent of "Rays-to-Montreal" columns, blogposts, and radio call-in segments.

The two games in the baseball-starved city have already sold more than 75,000 tickets overall, and we've started seeing hints at why MLB was good with the exhibition games in the first place:  Jon Paul Morosi writes, "Baseball just paying a visit in Montreal exhibition games -- right?"
It won't have Fenway's charm, or the amenities and vistas of San Francisco's AT&T Park. But an MLB official, player, or fan might glance up at the antique roof and conclude that the overall accommodations are roughly equivalent to the Oakland Coliseum, universally judged to be the worst stadium in the major leagues.

Surprisingly, that counts for something. The A's, like the Tampa Bay Rays, are looking for a long-term home. And while MLB officials say there's been no discussion of franchise relocation at recent owners meetings -- and neither franchise has intimated publicly that it is ready to leave its respective Bay -- any return-to-Montreal scenario involves the Team to Be Named Later playing at Olympic Stadium for a season or two while a permanent home is built elsewhere.
These games won't mean MLB is ready to return to Montreal.  It's just not in the cards.  But that doesn't mean the league won't use the city as leverage to try and get new stadiums in Tampa Bay, San Francisco Bay, and whatever other vulnerable regions pop up.

Looking forward to recapping all the nonsense later this week (as long as the forecast in Montreal clears up, since the threat of snow on the weak Olympic Stadium roof would be enough to cancel the games).

1 comment:

  1. Expo-necrophiliacs are the sports equivalent of Treckkies - in a fantasy world pining for something that (almost) never was or is.
    Top tix is almost $75.00, H. L. Mencken is still right even in another country.
    Crow has found a way of making a living without working.