While plans are in the early stages, the Rays view the two-city solution as the most feasible to saving baseball in the Tampa Bay area after years of failed attempts to build a new stadium.
The proposed arrangement could see the club eventually play early-season games in the Tampa Bay area before finishing the season in Montreal, sources told Jeff Passan of ESPN.
Bronfman said they'd have more to say after the Rays' news conference next week. "Ultimately, such a decision is up to me". The MLB is once again flirting with the city of Montreal, and their hopes and desires of ever hosting a baseball team again.
He added: "Major League Baseball may have given the approval for exploration of this concept, but for us in St. Pete, sharing this team with Montreal is not an option on the table". A group of investors led by Stephen Bronfman (whose father, Charles, was the Expos' original owner) announced in May that they had an agreement to develop a 950,000 square-foot site known as Peel Basin with the goal of building a new stadium. While Montreal doesn't now have a stadium, an agreement has been reached at a potential site. Tropicana Field was built in 1990. The Rays have played at Tropicana Field since their inception in 1998 and drew their lowest home crowd of 5,786 against Toronto last month. The Rays have not finished better than 29th in average attendance since 2010, when they finished 22nd.
"I think it could do nothing but help, honestly". There are a lot of needles to thread to make this work.
Under the proposal, early season games would take place in Florida before the franchise's home games move to Montreal for the remainder of the season.
So, it seems the Rays won't be playing baseball in Montreal for at least the next several years.
The return of baseball to Montreal, which lost the Expos when they moved to Washington and became the Nationals before the 2005 season, has always been speculated and has significant support among power brokers in the city, including Stephen Bronfman, the private-equity magnate whose father, Charles, was the Expos' original owner. The Toronto Blue Jays have played an annual spring training series at Olympic Stadium since 2014.