Stephen Bronfman says that any new Montreal Major League Baseball franchise will need a new ballpark, and is calling on the city for help.
There is an ongoing sentiment to see MLB return to Montreal, and give the city its first franchise since the Montreal Expos departed after the 2004 season. Any successful push for a team will take time–MLB expansion will likely not happen until the Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays resolve their respective ballpark searches–but Bronfman’s interest would add a prominent name to the effort.
In order for any plan to move forward, however, Bronfman believes that a few elements will have to fall into place. He wants to avoid operating at Olympic Stadium for any period, meaning that a new ballpark (which would not be constructed until a franchise is secured) would be a must. While Bronfman does not foresee Montreal taxpayer money being needed to finance a new ballpark, he is calling on the city to provide its help. More from the Canadian Press:
Bronfman also repeated that while he has no intention of seeking money from Montreal taxpayers, that he does need “help” from Mayor Valérie Plante, and will meet with her “in a few weeks.”
“I’m looking forward to meeting her. We all have to be on the same wavelength. … This is a sports team. Everyone has to play their role. We don’t need a cent from the city of Montreal, but we need a little help.”
That led to Plante voicing support for the Montreal baseball dream.
“Listen, we have a meeting in two weeks with Mr. Bronfman. I cannot wait for this meeting and I think that already, it is a much better deal,” she said Wednesday at city hall.
Prompting some of the coverage of MLB’s future in Montreal is the recent return of annual Olympic Stadium exhibitions featuring the Toronto Blue Jays, which were played on Monday and Tuesday. Attendance for this year’s matchups against the St. Louis Cardinals was lower than what the games have drawn in previous springs, but that was not an unexpected development given that they were played at the beginning of the week rather than over the weekend.
RELATED STORIES: Official Calls for Montreal Ballpark Referendum in 2021; Montreal Ballpark Renderings Released; Manfred: MLB Continues to Wait on Expansion; No, Montreal’s Return to MLB is NOT Imminent; Rays Connected to Montreal Move; Manfred Reinforces Montreal as Expansion Option; April Exhibitions Fuel Talk of Montreal MLB Manfred to Montreal: Here’s your roadmap to MLB; Manfred: Montreal needs ballpark plan to lure MLB; Manfred: Montreal viable MLB market; Montreal may be looking good to Sternberg these days; Montreal preps for return of MLB; Carter to be honored; Should Montreal pursue MLB?; Could MLB really return to Montreal sooner than later?; Support for return of MLB Montreal strong: poll; 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