all about the loonies
Major League Baseball’s annual pilgrimage to Montreal is here and it is time to rev up the Montreal is going to get the Expos back because Montreal is an outstanding baseball market hype. Montreal was a failing market when the Major League Baseball owned Expos played the franchise’s last game on September 29, 2004. Major League Baseball moved the team to Washington. There were a number of reasons the Expos failed. Two sets of team owners could not get public money to build a new baseball park, the Canadian dollar nosedived against the American greenback, attendance fell as the on field product was not good and media money from radio and TV was meager at best. In 2018, the stadium problem has not yet been solved and the Canadian currency against the US has been on a roller coaster for two decades.
While some people in Montreal, in Quebec and in Canada think it is just a matter of time before Montreal gets a Major League Baseball team, there are hurdles. Public funding for a stadium and whether Montreal residents want to pay for a building may not be answered until a 2021 referendum. Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred while talking up expansion with Montreal and Charlotte as possible candidates seemed to put expansion on hold after a November, 2017 owners meeting. “I think I’ve been clear that expansion will come to active consideration after the situations in Tampa and Oakland have been resolved. I’m not sure who’s going to be the mayor of Montreal at that point. I do know that it will be extraordinarily unlikely for baseball to return to Montreal without some concrete plan as to where a team would play. We’re not going back to play at Olympic Stadium.” Oakland and Tampa Bay ownership are still looking for new ballparks which was also the case in 2004 when Major League Baseball left Montreal.