The COVID-19 pandemic has not gotten in the way of the pursuit of a franchise.
There was a story on BNN Bloomberg last week that the group that is pursuing a Major League Baseball franchise in Montréal has not given up despite a massive setback with the COVID-19 pandemic. Eric Boyko who is a member of the group attempting to woo Major League Baseball owners said Stephen Bronfman is working at getting a team back into the city. Bronfman’s father Charles had been one of the owners of the expansion Montréal Expos, which made its debut in 1969 but he sold the team to local investors in 1990. The franchise moved to Washington after the 2004 season.
Boyko did not say very much more in the interview other than we want a team. One of the main reasons MLB pulled the team out of Montréal was an inability to get a modern baseball plant. There still is not a plan to get what is needed, a baseball stadium. Television money was also an issue at the end of the Montréal Expos run. But that may have changed over the past 17 years and a baseball team in Montréal may get a sizable local English and French TV deal. There are some questions about corporate support. In 1969, Montréal was the financial capital of Canada. The Separatist movement began in earnest in the 1970s and big money people fled to Toronto. The National Hockey League’s Canadiens get Montréal’s corporate support, the Major League Soccer Montréal franchise gets a small piece of what is available. A plan to split Tampa Bay Rays home games between Montréal and somewhere in the Tampa Bay market has been shelved. In the loose lips sink ships department Boyko added, “so, we’ve got to be very careful what we say because they, MLB, don’t like it if we talk too much on radio, TV, or with the papers.”
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