Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Let's raise $350 million for a community-owned MLB franchise

   If you are experienced in starting a publicly-traded company, please step forward.
   The project is to launch a non-profit company with the sole aim of purchasing a future Montreal major league baseball franchise.
  It would follow a model similar to many other teams, such as the Edmonton Eskimos, Green Bay Packer and countless European soccer franchises.
  The idea is quite simple: sell $350 million of shares and place it in a fund to buy a baseball franchise to be located in Montreal.
   Currently the lowest-costing clubs are the Oakland A's and Tampa Bay Rays, which are evaluated at around $320 million each.
   I don't want to deprive another city of their baseball squad but if a team has got to move, it should be to Montreal.
   The formula would be to sell 3.5 million shares for $100 each.
   So for $100, you become part-owner of the Expos v.2.
   Why would you pay $100 to be part-owner of a Montreal baseball team?
   Because you'd have bragging rights and a plaque on your wall that your kids will show off to their friends.
   Also, many Montrealers are not owners of anything, they rent their apartments, take the bus and have no property to speak of, this would be the jewel in the crown of things they could be owners of for a low price.
   Until the team is purchased, the money will sit in a fund gaining interests and, worst- case scenario, the investors would get reimbursed after a few years if it proves impossible to buy a team.
   The reason people have to kick-start a grassroots funding initiative is that the local moneyed-class is too slovenly or distracted by inferior sports (Molson hockey, Saputo soccer) to get this off the ground
   Besides, citizen-owned teams are cool and have been thriving elsewhere around the planet for a long time.
   A community-owned team would also have a stronger voice in negotiating for a grant or loan from government to build a new downtown stadium.
   If a stadium isn't immediately ready, the Expos can play in the Olympic Stadium and games would likely be better attended  because more people are actively invested in it.
   If anybody has experience in such undertakings please pop your idea into the comment section.


Anonymous said...

I love watching Green Bay Packers games and occasionally there is a guy in the stands which says "owners' box right here"!

Jimmy Z

Anonymous said...

If you think Bud Selig and/or the MLB ownership group are interested in coming back to Montreal anytime soon, think again. We burned our bridges, so to speak.

I can also guarantee you that a grassroots community-owned organization has zero chance of being awarded a franchise. MLB wants an owner with deep pockets that can fund the team for years to come, even with operating losses.

Nice idea, but it's not a winner.

Kristian Gravenor said...

The Rays will go broke, that much is clear. They can simply fold or they can move elsewhere. Montreal is their only realistic option. Alternately MLB could also sell Montreal a franchise and $300 million would give each of those owners $10 million each. The Expos only left because they couldn't find an owner, so here we are.

Marc said...

I like (liked) baseball but Bud Selig is the one who didn't want the Expos here. So long as he's still in charge and there's no salary cap, MLB baseball here is not. going. to. happen.

Kristian Gravenor said...

Yup. Bug Selig is 78. His shelf life is running out. I'm still amazed that there's no salary cap. How do the majority of owners allow the few rich ones walk all of them like that?

Colin Paterson said...

I am guessing that you are not serious about your proposal. Sounds like a Jean Drapeau idea like his restaurant with an orchestra.
The demographics have changed in Montreal over the past 50 years. I can't believe that there are enough people in Montreal to seriously consider another go at major league baseball.
Getting taxpayers to cough up a 1/2a billion for a new stadium is very unlikely.
Big league baseball in Mtl. is a ship that has sailed.
So...what this is really about is ego. That Montreal is still big time.
What would make more sense is a triple A team.
By the way there are lots of US cities Tampa can go to. Buffalo, Portland, Oregon, San Antonio, San Jose, Las Vegas, Louisville, Memphis, El Paso, Tuscon, Charlotte, Austin, Columbus, Jacksonville, Inianapolis.
Savour the memories of the Royals and Expos. Those days are gone.

UrbanLegend said...

The way things are going, it won't be long before "professional sports" will go the way of the dodo bird, and only unpaid college teams and semi-professionals will survive.

Only an idiot pays hundreds of dollars for a stadium seat in to finance the stratospheric salaries of shamelessly spoiled-rotten "sportsmen" whose only purpose in life is to sign a contract offered by the highest bidder.

Sadly, gone is the golden age of modest, self-effacing, honourable heroes like Rocket Richard and Jean Beliveau who played for the love of the game and were respected for it.

THEY certainly didn't EXPECT millions and mansions and bimbos and all the rest of the garish glitter that this generation of fans seems to think is something to admire.

No, boys and girls: greed is NOT good.

My rant for today.

Colin Paterson said...

UrbanLegend...let me add my own rant.

Sports have changed. For those that adapt and like sports there are ways to make it work for you.

CFL football is still affordable and the games are usually more exciting than NFL ones. I follow the Seattle Seahawks but just on TV. The NFL...the National Felon League.

Basketball sucks as far as the season goes. The playoffs are pretty good sometimes and college basketball is decent when it gets down to about the final 8 teams.

Baseball. I never watch baseball during the season and still get a kick if the Yankees lose in the Series. Of the major sports, baseball has fallen the most in my perspective. Pants dragging on the ground. Steroids.

Contrary to other opinions of late hockey is doing fine as far as I am concerned. More parity in the league than other sports. Players don't sit on their asses for half of the game like baseball and football and you won't find any fat hockey players. A lot more high speed action too. Being at an NHL game can be a bit over rated. You can miss plays close to the goal and not know who scored if your seat is at the other end of the rink. The trick is to know someone with seasons tickets. I went to quite a few free Canucks games over the years.

TV is the way to go. You can see some pretty nice countryside in the Tours de France. The last day of a golf tournement can be pretty good and makes you forget the nasty weather outside. Wimbleton and the other major tennis events are still pretty decent towards the finals. Soccer is also pretty good.

Instead of spending 8 bucks on a hot dog invest in a comfy chair and a big screen. When you don't like what you are watching you just change the channel. You can make a sandwich or visit the crapper during a commercial.

Better still, you can get out and get some exercise. Golf courses are some of the most beautiful places on the map. Public ones and executive shorter courses too. A good hike is always a good plan. You can rent a kayak for about 35 bucks for 4 hours. Or get a bike. Or get a big dog who needs to be walked.

Don't let the bastards who threaten to leave town if you won't build them a new stadium control you!

Use them. Don't let them use you.

Drop the freakin' puck. I want some hockey!

ndgguy said...

Kitchener Rangers of the OHL , another community owned success story.

Jake Malake said...

MLB forbids "community owned" professional franchises. Green Bay Packers are the only NFL community owned franchise allowed and have received a historical exemption.

Now...the real issue is a new downtown ballpark...a community/Professional Seat License (PSL) ballpark is the way to go for Montreal

Anonymous said...

Colin wrote (regarding hockey players):

"Players don't sit on their asses for half of the game...."

An average NHL player (except goalies) is on the ice for 20-25 minutes per game - out of the 60 minute total. What's he doing the other 35-40 minutes? Sitting on his ass. :-)

Colin Paterson said...

You make a good point. I don't know what I was thinking. What I should have said is that there is a lot more continuous action in hockey than baseball and football.

R.Staub said...

I wish your idea could come about. It sounds wonderful dreamy idea. Playing in Montreal was one of the greatest accomplishments I could ever have imagined. I’d send you my hundred bucks within a breath if I thought I could see those days with the Metros again. I love Montreal.

mikel said...

The real problem with baseball in Montreal is that MLB became a system designed primarily to give wealthy owners free stadiums. The whole thing is a shakedown: "give us free stuff or we move you." This is why Toronto will be forced to move if the gov't doesn't build them a free replacement for Skydome, whose lifecycle is just about ended.

It's ironic, of course, that the "free market" US is where owners can reliably count on corporate welfare in the form of free billion dollar stadiums.

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