Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Experts predicting - again - we get our Expos back

Potential site for new ballpark
      The misfortune of some can be the luck of others. The Tampa Ray Devils baseball squadron is expected to fold and move on to greener pastures according to several pundits.
   One is predicting not only that the Rays will go kaput, but that the team will relocate to Montreal and the Expos will return.
   That latest is from political commentator Keith Olbermann, who also happens to be an avid baseball maniac and friend of Tampa's ownership.
   Olbermann argues that Montreal is the only real natural choice for moving the Tampa franchise because other candidates such as Portland and Sacramento would face opposition, as they would eat into other teams' fan base.
   He points out that Montreal has a track record of supporting its baseball team, a fact obscured by the poor-attendances at the Big O in the post lockout years.
   Olbermann said that the key would be to put the Expos into the AL East where we'd have a natural rivalry with Toronto and Boston, as well as the Yankees.
   Those from outside the city seem to think that it's easy to just bang a new ballpark downtown but they probably don't remember the city core being as hot as it has been in the last few years.
   I figure a new baseball stadium could be placed in the area around Bridge and Wellington, or Mill and Bridge, which doesn't have any nearby metro but is near the water and a short jaunt to Old Montreal via Mill.
   It would be a fitting spot because the very earliest baseball games in Montreal were played on Mill.
   Taylor Noakes has responded with a thoughtful and detailed post about this. I like his idea that our stadium could be built similar to that of Milwuakee, which has a neat retractable roof, although the one I really like is that which is being built in Hermosillo.


Marc said...

Hmm, yeah, it ain't happening.

Anonymous said...

No metro is a problem, but shuttles work OK for Als games. That sorta-waterside location would somewhat remind me of the Yankee's new stadium. I would probably consider season tickets if the 'spos did come back.

Bill Bumbray said...

Would be amazing to see a franchise back here, absolutely in the american league, and I know that old Blue Bonnets is slated for housing, but what a spot, metro stations, close to the West-Island,NDG, CDN, regardless, build it they will come, believe that , honestly do

Phillip said...

I really think Montréal should look towards attracting a Triple-A team with an MLB affiliation. We NEED the MLB affilitation.

Teams like the Portland Sea Dogs, for instance, have an MLB affiliation with the Boston Red Sox. In turn, Boston pays the salary of the coaches and trainers, the players and subsidizes the cost of equipment. The team is left to cover the cost of the stadium usually through ticket sales and vendor leases, as well as their portion of the equipment.

This would give Montreal a farm team with very low costs. The MLB does not have a salary cap, and Tampa Bay was near-to the bottom in MLB salary at a total expenditure of $65 million. Compare that to the Yankees or Red Sox who dumped between 175 - 200 million. There's no way Montreal could ever hope to raise that kind of scratch. Mixed-language media market, low yields in both English and French media, a history of low attendance, etc. Montreal would have a team that is continually losing, especially now that the Jays are making serious moves towards a highly competitive team.

It's a disaster. The team would play 5 years in Montréal (and where are they going to play? The Big-O? Again, pointless). We'd need a new stadium, and it'd need to be 100% team covered. And we know how teams hate to foot the bill of stadiums.

Keith Olbermann is an idiot.

emdx said...

If they want a ballpark, they gonna have to pay for it themselves.

There are many holes in the street that needs to be fixed by the City.

Kaï in Côte-des-Neiges said...

I'd love to have my Expos jersey and bat be more than just historical curiosities, but yeah, it doesn't make sense without the franchise paying for the stadium themselves; never gonna happen. Major league sports in general have been in the forefront of corporate welfare crybabying since forever. (Private profits with socialized losses.) A little surprised that a former sports journalist wouldn't be aware of the political and economic realities.

I'd be happy just to have a farm team here whose games I could attend, but the same problems, albeit smaller-scale, would present themselves.

Anonymous said...

I live in Toronto and as a former Expo (and anti Jay) fan
I can honestly tell you - Montreal and all of Canada has not been the same without Nos Amours.
Bring back the Expos
Build them a stadium
Baseball needs it
Your country needs it
Most importantly your city needs it

Em Gee