Monday, October 27, 2014

Tampa Bay Rays Considering Move To Montreal

Here is just a bit of AL East news to get your Monday morning started, according to MLB Trade Rumors and the NY Daily News the Tampa Bay Rays are mulling around the idea of moving the franchise to Montreal. The article states that Montreal once drew over 2,000,000 fans four times during the Expos tenure there while Tampa has not done that since the first year of existence for the then Devil Rays. The article conveniently leaves out the part that those four times came in the 1970's and 980's and had been below even 1,000,000 in the latter parts of the Expos years but I digress.

Personally I cannot see Tampa moving to our brother from the north. Tampa has a television deal that is about to expire after the 2016 season that if renewed could increase revenue from $20 million a season to $80- $90 million per season or more. The team would essentially have to start from scratch if they headed to Montreal. I think the money would be the biggest obstacle keeping Tampa from moving their franchise as the team on a budget may be able to increase payroll in just a couple seasons anyway, low attendance or not.


  1. The Expos had horrendous attendance near the end of their existence, but that is entirely due to the position the team was in. They were the best in 1994, then the season ended early and the team was forced to sell off all their stars. Add in the poor Canadian economy during that period, meaning that the team was in worse shape and more fans couldn't afford tickets, and it's easy to understand why they didn't draw any fans.

    Furthermore you can look at their compatriots in the NHL for more reasons. The fans in Montreal were used to success, as the Canadiens were the best team in the NHL for decades. Thus the fans were not willing to tolerate failure, and the Expos only ever made the playoffs once (during the period where they had 2mil fans show up). Now the Canadiens have gone more than 20 years without winning a championship, and they had their worst spell during the late 90s/early 2000s (again, poor Canadian economy contributed, leading to lower ticket sales for hockey as well as baseball. Since 2005, the Canadiens have sold out *every* game), so the fans expectations for success are somewhat lower.

    Would baseball be a success in Montreal? Not without a new stadium. The Big O has been falling apart ever since it was completed, and that concrete monstrosity is not one that people are going to go to 80 times a year. But I think the city would be open to a new one, if they're getting baseball back, and I'm confident the fans would come out and support it.

  2. Major League Baseball forcing miniscule payrolls, the selling off of players, etc. really hurt the Expos at the end. Everyone knew the team was destined to move, who wants to support that?

    I agree with everything you said here Viruk and I welcome you to the blog and thank you for your input. Good work.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)