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Baseball to Return to Montreal this Spring

Ten years after the Expos left town, MLB will return to Olympic Stadium for two games this spring

Baseball is returning to Montreal, albeit briefly, for the second straight year. The Toronto Blue Jays will play host to the Cincinnati Reds at Olympic Stadium on April 3 and 4, 2015 to close out their Spring Training schedule. The Jays played host to the New York Mets at Olympic Stadium in 2014, which marked the first MLB games to be played in Montreal since baseball moved the Expos to Washington, D.C. following the 2004 season.

The Blue Jays’ decision to play their final two exhibition games in Montreal highlights a fast-growing public interest in bringing a baseball team back to Montreal on a permanent basis. In 2012, former Expo Warren Cromartie founded an organization called the Montreal Baseball Project with the hopes that he could drum up enough interest to entice Major League Baseball to consider bringing a franchise back across the border to Quebec. The movement gained further attention when a group called ExposNation began to show up in numbers at Toronto Blue Jays games during the 2012 and 2013 season to drum up support for a team in Montreal.

In October of 2014, both the New York Daily News and TSN of Canada reported that Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg had met with Wall Street Investors and discussed the possibility of moving his franchise to Montreal due to the frustrations he was facing over getting a new stadium built for the team in the Tampa Bay region. Just a few weeks later on November 7, TSN reported that a group of investors including Expos ex-shareholder Stephen Bronfman, Canadian communication company Bell, and CEO of Dollarama Larry Rossy were interested in bringing a franchise to the Montreal market, though the report suggested that any project that the parties were working on was in its very early stages at best.

Whether or not a baseball franchise will return to Montreal remains to be seen, but if the Blue Jays are able to draw as well as they did in 2014 (the first game drew a crowd of 46,000), new commissioner Rob Manfred may have to at least consider the possibility that the fan interest is still there to have baseball in more than one city in Canada on a permanent basis.



Robert Gonzalez

Cleveland Indians Correspondent