Major League Baseball (MLB) has green-lighted the study for a new proposal that would see the Tampa Bay Rays split their home games between Tampa and Montreal. This could mean the return of an MLB team to Montreal in the next 3 years or so.
The proposal still needs to be studied at both ends, and obstacles remain. Both teams’ investors are looking to build new stadiums, with all the challenges that entails. In addition, the Rays’ lease was described as “iron-clad” and it will keep them locked into Tampa until 2027.
On the hopeful side, the proposed deal could mean that each city would build a smaller, open-air stadium instead of investing heavily in a bigger stadium with a retractable roof. In addition, the Rays’ owners could decide that splitting their team’s home games with Montreal is a good thing – especially if they continue having trouble building a new stadium in Tampa!
Stephen Bronfman, son of the former Expos’ owner, said planning takes at least a year, and we’ll need to wait another 2 years for a new stadium… After that, he is hopeful we could see a return of the Expos… But they may keep being called the Rays for now.