Baseball returns to Montreal | End of the club project in joint custody with Tampa

The plan for a baseball club with joint custody of the cities of Montreal and Tampa is dead.

Posted at 12:23 PM

Alexander Pratt

Alexander Pratt
Journalism

According to the information he obtained Journalism, also relayed by Tampa Bay TimesThe Major League Baseball Executive Committee opposes this. Stuart Sternberg, owner of Tampa Bay Rays, is meeting with the media Thursday afternoon to provide an update on the case. The Montreal baseball group has not yet commented on the information.

Stephen Bronfman and Associates have been working on the “sister cities” concept since at least 2016. It was the preferred scenario to ensure the return of a major league team to Montreal. The project was also backed by Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg, and was approved by Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred prior to the pandemic in February 2020.

“I am 100% convinced, and most importantly, the owners of the other teams are convinced [M. Sternberg] “This is the best way to keep a major club in Tampa Bay,” said Mr. Manfred.

The Sister Cities plan called for the construction of two new baseball stadiums. One in the Tampa Bay area, funded by the club and local governments. The other is in the Bell Basin, in Montreal, on land largely owned by Canada Lands, a federal government agency. The team was due to start the season in Florida before moving to Quebec in June.

The Montreal baseball group has not yet announced how it intends to fund the acquisition of the land or build the stadium. The mayor of Montreal, Valerie Plante, had specified that the city would not invest in building a new stadium. The Quebec government was in discussion with the consortium. Prime Minister François Legault said in December, “If there was a baseball stadium, it wouldn’t cost Quebec taxpayers a penny. There is no doubt that our government allocates a penny to taxpayers in this.”

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Stephen Bronfman had already shut the door on the idea of ​​getting an expansion team, due to rising costs. “It was hard to be realistic, even for me. In the United States, there are many entrepreneurs who could spend 2 or 3 billion dollars to buy a team. […] But in Quebec, finding money is too risky. I had to take a lot of pressure. ‘ He said to Montreal Journal in winter 2020.

the Tampa Bay Times He remembers that Rays’ general staff members had already “vigorously hinted” that the team was likely seeking to move out of Tampa if the Montreal deal failed, rather than trying to stay in the city permanently.

More details to come.

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