After MLB sold the Montréal Expos to a group of owners that moved the team to Washington, the city of Montréal has been out of Major League Baseball. But all signs point into the direction that an MLB team could return to the French-Canadian city.
In the past years, baseball lovers have investigated how to bring back Major League Baseball to Montréal. A long search for investors has officially ended as a group of Montréal investors has met the conditions laid out by Major League Baseball to get a team back in the city, a source has told The Canadian Press.
“I can tell you we are no longer looking for investors and that we believe we have all the ingredients to be able to welcome a team, be it an expansion one or one that already exists,” the person said on condition of anonymity.
According to the source, the group of investors has a solid financial setup, support from two levels of government, various potential locations for a stadium as well as at least five different designs for a stadium.
Now it is up to MLB to start the whole process. Rob Manfred stated last year that he would like to add two teams (one in each league) to make scheduling easier. This would make luring a team easier as no team needs to move.
Especially two teams were rumored to be targets as they were denied a new stadium: the Oakland A’s and the Tampa Bay Rays. But it looks like that the A’s will stay in Oakland as the city is willing to help the team with a new stadium. Various locations have been appointed.
For the Rays, it is a complete different story. Two locations were in the picture but both seem not to be available. The search for a new location will not be finished until the end of this year.
For the past three years, the attendance of exhibition games played at Olympic Stadium in Montréal has shown that there is enough support to be home for an MLB team. This weekend, the Toronto Blue Jays will play another series of two exhibition games. This time they will host the Pittsburgh Pirates.