Reports have confirmed what we reported in April: The Toronto Blue Jays will play a pair of exhibition games against the Mets at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium before the regular season starts in 2014.
Many MLB teams schedule a pair of exhibition games after spring training and before the regular season, and a two-game series of this nature is being discussed. The issues: who would pay to bring the facility up to a level where a) baseball can be played and b) large crowds can be handled. It sounds like the Blue Jays have worked out both issues.
Olympic Stadium is still used for many events; despite some talk of demolition, the place regularly hosts events like car and RV shows and professional soccer. A return of MLB games would certainly bring forth much angst and fond memories, especially if the Blue Jays do something to honor the Expos (special pinwheel Blue Jays caps, anyone?). And, of course, there will be much discussion about whether or not Montreal could support MLB in the future. Warren Cromartie is leading an effort to determine the financial feasibility of Major League Baseball in the city.
Montreal is by far the largest market in the United States or Canada lacking professional baseball of any sort: it’s the 15th largest market in all of North America.
Photo from the last Montreal Expos game at Olympic Stadium, Sept. 29, 2004. Yes, we were there.
RELATED STORIES: MLB temporarily returns to Montreal; Cromartie: We’re launching feasibility study on return of MLB to Montreal; Cromartie laying groundwork for return of MLB to Montreal; Conference board: Montreal can support MLB; More MLB dreams in Montreal; Montreal capable of supporting MLB — if there’s an owner with deep pockets
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