The first getting to know you meeting with potential owners of a Montreal Major League Baseball team and Mayor Valerie Plante took place last week and Plante seems open to support Stephen Bronfman and Mitch Garber’s plan to bring a team back to the city. Bronfman and Garber claim they just need the mayor’s support and no loonies from the city. It’s a start.
Plante is not against Major League Baseball setting up shop in Montreal again but on the campaign trail last year, Plante said she wanted to get low income housing built, expand the city’s public transportation and if she was elected put the baseball stadium public funding question before voters during the next citywide election in 2021. Plante wants to work with Bronfman and Garber. There was no talk of building a stadium, just here is what is happening.
Montreal seems to be better suited for a Major League Baseball team than it was when the Expos franchise left after the 2004 season if you listen to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and others. But the old problem remains. There is no suitable stadium. Also, no one knows what kind of TV money would be available and if there is enough corporate money available as well. Montreal’s corporate loonies go first to the NHL Canadiens, followed by an MLS franchise, a CFL team, a Formula 1 race, minor league and junior hockey. There are the circumstances surrounding the departure of the Expos. Major League Baseball seemingly gave the city no help in trying to keep the team in town. In 2002, Florida owner John Henry took over the Boston Red Sox and Expos owner Jeffrey Loria who struck out in his bid to get a Montreal stadium and took over Florida leaving the Expos ownerless. The team was up for sale and eventually moved. The Expos saga is in a new phase.