Is Baseball Coming Back to Montreal?
The Tampa Bay Rays have received permission from Major League Baseball's executive council to explore a plan that could see the team split its home games between the Tampa Bay area and Montreal, reports said Thursday.
In a sourced report, ESPN's Jeff Passan said the plan would see the Rays play early-season home games in Florida and the remainder of the year in Montreal. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times also reported the team would explore splitting home games with Montreal, noting the plan would face several significant hurdles before being implemented, and likely no earlier than 2023.
When asked for comment, an MLB spokesman said he planned to provide a video statement from commissioner Rob Manfred later in the day.
Tampa Bay has had long-running challenges in building a new stadium to replace Tropicana Field, long considered one of the worst ballparks in the sport. Attendance has also been a consistent concern even though the Rays, currently in the American League's first wild-card position, have often been in contention.
Montreal has not had a big-league team since the Expos relocated to Washington in 2005.