To expand, MLB would need two markets that wouldn't drain revenue-sharing, and even if you think a national Canadian TV deal is a given and Montreal would pull it's own weight...we're a long way from having a second market like that. And of course, the Rays are contractually bound to Tampa Bay for the next 12 years. So MLB-in-Montreal is quite unlikely in the next decade.
Nevertheless, we're seeing lots of news this week for those who just can't get enough of the speculation:
- Jon Paul Morosi penned a predictable - but fair - column about Montreal's baseball future, but he says all the important questions the city must address are pressing issues because in the next two years, "the Rays should know whether they're staying or leaving Tampa Bay." I'm not sure I agree, for as I wrote last year (in much more depth), "because of the legal issues, there's no chance the Rays leave Florida in the next five, six, seven, or eight years. Maybe longer."
- Great "5 questions regarding MLB's return to Montreal" piece in the Toronto Star, including "MLB is using Montreal’s interest to try and leverage concessions for the Tampa Bay Rays out of three levels of local government in Florida. And only when the Rays stadium issue is resolved will there be any talk of expansion."
- The Tampa Bay Times' annual Opening Day editorial focused on ways Commissioner Rob Manfred could/should keep MLB in Tampa Bay, including: acknowledging the region's commitment to working together (even though they aren't right now on the Stadium Saga); acknowledging the high TV ratings & interest; and by paying for much of it himself. The paper also echoed this blog's call for more revenue sharing since the league could not be more flush with cash.
- The Tampa Bay Baseball Market blog has a great interview with new Rays Chief Business Officer, Jeff Cogen, who shares inside info on how the team is addressing some of the "attendance struggles", including ideas on converting TV-watchers to ticket-buyers.
- Gary Shelton points out Miami fans continue to get hosed by a crappy Marlins team. Oh, and the team's been unable to sell naming rights to their new cathedral for $5M/year.
- And finally, let's look back at this 2004 Washington Post story from Steve Fainaru, which offers evidence of why "private investors" aren't going to fund a half-billion dollar stadium in Montreal. Bud Selig, on whether a stadium's revenues can outpace revenues: "Can a ballclub build a stadium and survive? No."
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