The NHL and MLB are skipping over the province of Québec.
Happy birthday to America’s northern, southern, western and eastern neighbor, Canada. Today is Canada’s 156th birthday and it probably is a good time to take a look at the county and Canadian sports aspirations. The top of the list probably is to add a National Hockey League team in Québec City and a Major League Baseball team in Montréal. Neither is happening in the short-term future but the NHL can tell those in Québec City who are pushing for a franchise a bottom-line number to buy a team. It’s about $1 billion US or about $1.3 billion Canadian which may be a very high price tag for small market Québec City. That number is the reported sale price of the small market Ottawa Senators franchise to a group of investors. Québec City has a state-of-the-art arena and there could be a TV deal available but Québec City is a government town with limited corporate support. The NHL is not very interested in a market with limited loonies and passed over the market in the league’s last two expansions in favor of Las Vegas and Seattle.
There were those in Montréal who seemed to be excited with the possibility of the return of Major League Baseball on a part-time basis to town in 2024. There was a plan to divide Tampa Bay Rays home games between St. Petersburg, Florida and Montréal but MLB killed the notion. It is possible MLB could expand but there is no timetable to add teams. Montréal could be in the mix if a new ballpark is built. Montréal has a large market but most of the local corporate money goes to the NHL’s Canadiens then to the Major League Soccer franchise and to the local Canadian Football League franchise. MLB doesn’t think Montréal will work for them over an 81-game home schedule.
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