Mitch Garber, who is one of the minority owners of the National Hockey League’s Seattle expansion franchise, is attempting to get a Major League Baseball team back into Montreal. The Major League Baseball owned Montreal Expos franchise was moved to Washington after the 2004 season. Garber recently gave an interview and the interviewer brought up the rumors that the Tampa Bay Rays franchise could end up in Montreal. Garber was very careful about his answer. Garber had once been a Montreal Expos season ticket holder and is part of Stephen Bronfman’s group that not only wants a Major League Baseball team back in Montreal but also has secured some land that would be needed for a baseball park. One of the reasons the Expos franchise failed was the lack of a state-of-the-art baseball stadium in town in the early 2000s. Garber does acknowledge that there are two baseball options. One is going after a failing franchise such as Tampa Bay, the other is waiting for an expansion team. The wait may take a decade. MLB wants to solve stadium problems in Oakland and in the Tampa Bay market. Rays ownership has a lease with St. Petersburg to use the local stadium through 2027 and at the moment there are no out clauses.
Garber said. “As a baseball fan who suffered watching a team’s attendance and support dwindle, and watching an ownership group move that team out of Montreal, I don’t wish that on any city. So I don’t want to be part of a group hoping that a team fails in a city so that we can get the team.” Garber also talked about Montreal’s economy and how it is on that upswing better anything that it has been seen in 40 years. Montreal has better corporate and TV money today than in 2004 for baseball. Money talks.