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Thread: Baseball's New Commissioner: "A return to Montreal is possible."

  1. #1
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    Baseball's New Commissioner: "A return to Montreal is possible."

    From Yahoo sports:

    "It's been over a decade since the Expos took off for Washington, D.C., and became the Nationals, but the desire for major league baseball still lingers in Montreal.

    New commissioner Rob Manfred has been doing a lot of talking since he officially stepped in for Bud Selig last Saturday. He's touched on many subjects over the last few days, but there's one comment in particular that will excite those longing to see a team back in Canada's second largest city. Manfred told the New York Times he sees Montreal as a viable destination for a big league ball club:

    "Look, I think Montreal helped itself as a candidate for Major League Baseball with the Toronto games that they had up there last year. It’s hard to miss how many people showed up for those exhibition games. It was a strong showing. Montreal’s a great city. I think with the right set of circumstances and the right facility, it’s possible."
    Before baseball lovers in Montreal start lining up to buy season tickets, Manfred also noted that he doesn't see expansion in the "immediate future" and there are no current plans to build a replacement for old Olympic Stadium.

    The Tampa Bay Rays were recently linked with a possible move north and Canadian telecommunications powerhouse Bell would be an ideal owner for a potential Montreal franchise, yet even then it's hard to imagine the reincarnation of the Expos happening anytime soon.

    For the time being, fans in Quebec will have to make do with a pair of upcoming exhibition games.

    After drawing over 95,000 over two nights last year when they played the Mets, the Blue Jays return to the Expos' former home on April 3 and 4 for spring training games against the Cincinnati Reds. It will be the first time Toronto's marquee offseason signing and Montreal native Russell Martin plays in his hometown as a professional.

    "It's going to be awesome," said Martin. "There's going to be a ton of people, from friends to family to old teachers of mine at the games. I know how loud the fans can get so that's what I'm looking forward to."

    Montreal has MLB's attention — and another strong showing at the Big O in April would help solidify their case that they deserve a second chance."
    The mounties always get their man.

  2. #2
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    With the Blue Jays in town again for a 2-game exhibition series, it's time to again talk about the dream of bringing major league baseball back to Montreal.

    Blue Jays trip to Montreal overshadowed by talk of Expos return

    JACK TODD, Special to Postmedia Network
    Thursday, March 30, 2017
    torontosun.com

    MONTREAL - It's Groundhog Day all over again, the annual spring rite when we throng the Olympic Stadium to wallow in Expos nostalgia, demonstrate our love for baseball and, coincidentally, to enrich the Toronto Blue Jays and Evenko in the process.

    If a pair of meaningless exhibition games between the Blue Jays and the Pittsburgh Pirates don't quite whet your appetite there's plenty more, beginning with the much deserved tribute to Tim Raines, the speedy outfielder who was finally elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame last winter on his 10th and final chance.

    The festivities this year will include the Fan Jam on the esplanade leading into the stadium, beginning at 5 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday. The tribute, scheduled for 6:35 Friday ahead of the game's 7 p.m. start, should be the big draw.
    If Raines isn't enough, Dennis Martinez, Steve Rogers, Bill Lee, Al Oliver, David Palmer and Jeff Reardon will also be on hand Friday and Quebec Major Leaguers including Claude Raymond, Denis Boucher and Derek Aucoin will be honoured Saturday.

    The subtext, as always, will be the effort to bring back the Expos. What seemed an impossible pipe-dream when the Jays first played these exhibitions four years ago has moved to the realm of the genuinely possible, even if a report this week that investors were awaiting word from Major League Baseball was premature.

    We will always be grateful to Frédéric Daigle of Presse Canadienne, whose report that a group of Montreal investors had met the conditions imposed by Major League Baseball for the return of the Expos elicited this pithy response from Mayor Denis Coderre: "Article Frédéric Daigle sur retour Expos, source a tenté de vous rouler dans la farine....rien de réglé. Tout chemine bien mais pas entente. ..."

    I had never come across the expression "rouler dans la farine" before. "Rolled in the flour," which I would translate as "pull the wool over your eyes." There's a lot of that with any big project but this time, the coating of flour appears to be rather light.

    Basically Coderre appeared to be saying that no deal is done, but the universe is unfolding as it should. Mitch Garber, a member of the group trying to birth a new Expos franchise, said much the same thing: Talk of financial support from two levels of government and potential stadium locations and designs was premature if not downright inaccurate.

    "There's this great desire to have Major League Baseball in Montreal," Garber said. "But it's not as advanced as this story would make it sound."

    The overall picture should become clearer at the Olympic Stadium Friday afternoon, when reporters will be more interested in hearing what Mayor Photo Op has to say than in who is batting seventh for the Blue Jays.

    There are at least a dozen groups working in some way for the return of the Expos, most with little more to offer than nostalgia and hope. The Garber/Stephen Bronfman group is the one with the clout, money and Bronfman name to make it happen. The investors in that group aside, no one I know has studied the file more thoroughly than Mark Sanchini, a history teacher at the Wilfred Laurier School Board.

    Sanchini noted that the Peel Basin site has been targeted but even with the demolition of the Bonaventure expressway, there isn't enough room on the north side of the basin to locate a baseball park.

    "The only viable piece of land," Sanchini said, "is on the south side of the basin, in Goose Village." While exploring the area last summer, Sanchini discovered that most of the land between Mill Street, Bridge Street, the Peel Basin and Wellington Street is owned by the city — and that there would appear to be enough land there for a stadium.

    "What also confirmed my suspicions is that the new REM train now has a planned stop called Peel Basin, with exits on both the north and south sides of the basin. There is no justification for putting an exit on the south side, in Goose Village, unless you're planning a major real-estate project."

    Sanchini compares the potential of Goose Village with the site of Petco Park in San Diego, an industrial park before the stadium was built that is now prime real estate — a common business plan for franchise owners looking to build a stadium.
    Inevitably, any Montreal project will be compared to the Centre Vidéotron in Quebec City, which was built with city and provincial funds to entice the NHL back to Quebec. But Quebec City has run into a considerable roadblock in the person of Gary Bettman. Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, on the other hand, has had nothing but good things to say about the potential return of baseball to Montreal.

    It would appear that we're still some distance from seeing a deal closed to bring the Expos back but the project has progressed light years since the Jays first played their exhibitions here four years ago, at a time when baseball seemed all but dead in Montreal.

    Are we close? Well, I wouldn't want to roll you in the flour.
    Strasser: By the way, the murder of the couriers, what has been done?
    Renault: Realizing the importance of the case, my men are rounding up twice the usual number of suspects.
    Heinze: We already know who the murderer is.
    Strasser: Good. Is he in custody?
    Renault: Oh, there's no hurry. Tonight he'll be at Rick's. Everybody comes to Rick's.

  3. #3
    I was an avid Expos fan but could not bear to follow the team as a fan when they became the Nats. Would love to see MLB back but I'm skeptical it will ever happen.

  4. #4
    Désolé mais si ça n'a pas fonctionné la première fois, pourquoi ça fonctionnerait mieux maintenant?

    Si vous voulez ramener la MLB à MTL, c'est votre affaire... Mais moi je ne paierai jamais pour ça...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titilleur View Post
    Désolé mais si ça n'a pas fonctionné la première fois, pourquoi ça fonctionnerait mieux maintenant?
    ...
    I don't agree that baseball "didn't work the first time." Montreal has always been a great baseball town, including long before the Expos came along. Montreal was for many years the location of the AAA affiliate of the Brooklyn Dodgers. When the Dodgers called up Jackie Robinson, the first black player in the majors, he was playing in Montreal.

    What killed the Expos was their terrible (Olympic) stadium and the two strikes that happened when Montreal was having good seasons, thus alienating otherwise very loyal fans (who have been showing up in droves for the Blue Jays exhibition games).

    Montreal is the largest market in the U.S and Canada without a major league team. It has a proposed ownership group in place and a good site for a new stadium. Lots of others things need to come together, especially financing for the new stadium. But I think there's a decent chance that we will see the return of the Expos sometime within the next five years.

    Imagine sitting outside and sipping a cold beer on a beautiful Montreal summer afternoon in a new stadium close to downtown while the Expos play the Red Sox, Blue Jays or Yankees.
    Strasser: By the way, the murder of the couriers, what has been done?
    Renault: Realizing the importance of the case, my men are rounding up twice the usual number of suspects.
    Heinze: We already know who the murderer is.
    Strasser: Good. Is he in custody?
    Renault: Oh, there's no hurry. Tonight he'll be at Rick's. Everybody comes to Rick's.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptRenault View Post

    ...very loyal fans (who have been showing up in droves for the Blue Jays exhibition games).
    Euh... Remplir le stade durant 2 matches par année... Y a rien là...

    81 matches c'est bien plus difficile...



    Quote Originally Posted by CaptRenault View Post
    Imagine sitting outside and sipping a cold beer on a beautiful Montreal summer afternoon in a new stadium close to downtown while the Expos play the Red Sox, Blue Jays or Yankees.
    Le problème avec ça c'est que les matches en après-midi sont de plus en plus rares... Les télédiffuseurs préfèrent les matches en primetime...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titilleur View Post
    Euh... Remplir le stade durant 2 matches par année... Y a rien là...

    81 matches c'est bien plus difficile...
    Ca depend la grosseur du stade. Un stade avec toit ouvrant pouvant accueillir environ 35 000-39 000 personnes pres du centre-ville serait parfait.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Holliday View Post
    Ca depend la grosseur du stade. Un stade avec toit ouvrant pouvant accueillir environ 35 000-39 000 personnes pres du centre-ville serait parfait.
    Le hic est que le stade actuel va couter encore 3 ou 400 millions dans les prochaines années. Comme faire avaler qu'on a besoin de fond public pour en construire un autre?

    Sujet à part, je suis un fan de l'impact et j'y vais souvent, mais quel erreur eux aussi ont fait en ne construisant pas leur stade plus près du centre ville... Cela aurais été tellement plus sympa.

    Cheers,

  9. #9
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    They should, not sure what shape the big O is though or what else they have ( Need a place to play while new stadium gets permits and built ). With over 5 million people in the greater Montreal area it should be profitable. I went with my son to see the final Expos game in Montreal, he was too young to keep interested and we left after the 5th. All these stadiums need to drop food and alcohol prices, $10 for a cup of beer, really, hate to say it but I always smuggle in a mickey of rum for sporting/concert events, $50 for 5 beer is not going to happen. Any venue $10 a drink is a rip-off.
    I do not think outside the box, I do not think inside the box, I do not even know where the box is.

  10. #10
    Sol Tee Nutz...

    Il n'y a pas plus de 4 millions de populations dans le "Greater MTL" (source: cmm.qc.ca) ... Mais bon, ce n'est pas le problème...

    À 2 millions de spectateurs, ça donne une moyenne de moins de 25 000 personnes par match... On ne fait pas vivre une équipe avec si peu de spectateurs.

    Entre 1977 (année du début des matches au Big O) et 2004 (dernière année à MTL), les Expos ont attiré plus de 2 millions de spectateurs lors de seulement 4 saisons... Mais la moyenne réelle d'attirance de spectateurs de 1977 à 2004 est moins de 15 000 spectateur (39 858 157 spectateurs en 28 saisons). En passant, depuis que les Expos sont devenus les Nationals, ils ont attiré plus de 2 millions de personnes sur 8 années en 12... Vous direz que le Greater Washington est plus grand (6 millions de population) et je vous répondrais que dans un rayon de 4 heures de routes autour de Washington vous trouvez des équipes à Baltimore, Philadelphie, Pittsburgh et New York...

    Donc, si en 28 saisons on a été incapable d'attirer une foule moyenne supérieure à ce que les Canadiens amènent dans un stade plus petit dans le centre-ville, croyez-vous vraiment qu'on peut réussir à doubler la moyenne de spectateurs chez les Expos dans un stade deux fois plus grand que le Centre Bell?

    On a beau dire que Montréal est la plus grosse ville de l'Amérique du Nord qui ne possède pas d'équipe de baseball de la MLB, ça ne garantit en rien le succès... On a fait le test durant 28 ans et ça n'a pas marché. On rêve de prendre une bière en regardant un match tranquillement en juillet... Mais on oublie que la saison s'étire jusqu'à la fin septembre pis rendu là il fait frette en tabarn*** pour prendre une bière dehors à regarder un club éliminé de la course aux séries depuis un mois...

    Ça va couter cher en batinse pour en avoir la preuve... Et même si je ne veux pas payer pour ça, on va me forcer à le faire par mes impôts...

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Sol Tee Nutz View Post
    ... Any venue $10 a drink is a rip-off.
    Tu as tellement raison... c'est pourquoi quelqu'un a inventé ça: https://thebeerbelly.com/

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sol Tee Nutz View Post
    All these stadiums need to drop food and alcohol prices, $10 for a cup of beer, really, hate to say it but I always smuggle in a mickey of rum for sporting/concert events, $50 for 5 beer is not going to happen. Any venue $10 a drink is a rip-off.
    I agree, but the only way it'll happen is if people smarten up & stop wasting their hard-earned dollars on overpriced beer and food. It's the same problem at other venues incl. hockey, basketball, concerts, etc. At the first Eagles concert i attended, i paid $14 for a beer. That was the only beer i wound up having that night. Then a couple of years later, i'm attending a U2 concert & before the concert is about to start i figured i'd go and get myself a beer. While waiting in line, i found out that they were selling a beer for $16. Sixteen bucks!!!! I got myself a diet coke instead. Yeah, i still paid like $4 for it. But at least i didn't spend $16 for a beer!

    When i attend a game at the ACC or at the Bell Centre, i'll usually limit myself to one beer or none at all. I look around me and see people drinking beer during the whole game. Hard to understand them.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Titilleur View Post
    Désolé mais si ça n'a pas fonctionné la première fois, pourquoi ça fonctionnerait mieux maintenant?
    Les Nats sont la 3e équipe basée á Washington. La 1ere édition des Senators sont devenues les Twins; la 2e est devenue les Rangers. Les Brewers se sont installés á Milwaukee après que les Braves ont quittés cette ville. Les Royals fonctionnent après que Kansas Coty a perdu les Athletics. Seattle a eu des Mariners après avoir perdu les Pilots (devenus les Brewers). Les Mets ont remplis la vide laissée quand les Giants et les Dodgers ont quittés New York. En effet, Montréal est la seule ville de MLB d'avoir perdu une équipe sans avoir eu une autre pour la remplacer.

    Si vous voulez ramener la MLB à MTL, c'est votre affaire... Mais moi je ne paierai jamais pour ça...
    Á moins que M Bronfman ne soit un membre de merb, personne ici est en train de ramener une équipe de MLB à Montréal. Et à moins que vous ne vous nommer Philippe Couillard, ce n'est pas vous qui déciderez si l'argent publique sera investi dans un tel aventure.

  14. #14
    Johnny...

    Ta réponse est vraiment convaincante...

    De toutes les villes que tu mentionnes, lesquelles on vu leur première équipe quitter l'endroit parce qu'il n'y avait pas 15 000 spectacteurs en moyenne par match? La population de MTL a prouvé à la MLB qu'elle n'est pas capable de rentabiliser une concession... Par contre, elle est capable de faire en sorte de présenter les deux matches hors-concours les plus payants chaque année.

  15. #15
    Je n'ai pas besoin de convaincre qui que ce soit; la décision ne sera pas prise par des membres de merb. Ce qui est écrit ici n'aura aucun effet. J'offre une perspective historique de l'affaire. Les 2 éditions des Senators de Washington sont peut-être les plus proches de la situation de Montréal - une équipe de 2e division perpetuelle; peu d'intérêt parmi les citoyens de la ville; pietres assistances au stade.

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