The Tampa Bay-Montreal MLB Split Season Schedule Talks Are Heating Up

A slow creep.

In October, in a Quebec City, Quebec supermarket there was a rather interesting promotion. An international known beer company was trying to entice consumers to purchase the product by offering free Major League Baseball licensed Montreal Expos hat. It seemed a rather odd way to sell beer as MLB moved the Montreal Expos franchise to Washington after the 2004 season but it also could be that Major League Baseball wants to reintroduce the Montreal Expos brand to Montreal and the province of Quebec. MLB will have pre-season baseball games in Montreal on March 23 and 24th, 2020 featuring the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays. It appears that MLB is getting Montreal and Quebec ready for an Expos return. After all MLB is still selling Expos merchandise. At some point, it was thought that Montreal, which has potential owners, would be in line for an expansion team. But over the summer word came from Tampa Bay Rays owner Stu Sternberg that he wanted his St. Petersburg, Florida-based team to play its summer portion of its home games in Montreal. It seemed to be a fantasy idea but Rays ownership has asked St. Petersburg officials to allow them to move some home games to Montreal sooner than later. The clock is ticking to the end of the Rays-St. Petersburg lease and while Rays ownership can talk to other cities about moving the franchise, that cannot happen until 2028. There are no concrete plans in the works for new stadiums in Tampa, St. Petersburg or Montreal.

Major League Baseball wants to get back into the Montreal market. There are people willing to invest in a Montreal team led by Stephen Bronfman, and that the Montreal corporate community, including a brewery, seems to be on board with a Major League Baseball team returning to the city.