A group of investors that wants to bring professional baseball to Montreal said the only thing they are waiting for is a call from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.
The Major League Baseball Commissioner had previously established requirements for returning a team to Montreal: a solid financial package, government support, a site and plans for a stadium.
All of these conditions have now been met by the group, a source told the Canadian Press.
Thus, the money is there, the support of two of the three levels of government is acquired, the group has a few sites and no fewer than five stadium plans will serve as the foundation for the project.
The group is so ready that this source says that if MLB should contact them in the coming days, weeks, or months for whatever reason, the project can be set in motion.
Last year, Stephen Bronfman and Mitch Garber publicly unveiled their commitment to this project. Bronfman said that it was too early to begin the financial arrangement. Twelve months later, it seems that it is now done.
Bronfman and Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre co-signed a letter to the 30 MLB teams and Commissioner Manfred in the fall of 2015 to show Montreal’s interest in finding place for Montreal in the select group.
In 1972, the Washington Senators packed up and moved down to Texas to become the Rangers. In the 45 years since the Senators’ departure, however, only a single other Major League Baseball franchise has relocated: the Montreal Expos (owned by MLB at the time) moved to Washington before the 2005 season and became the Nationals.
During that same 45-year period, meanwhile, the National Football League has seen the relocation of franchises on nine occasions (10 if Oakland completes their move to Las Vegas). The National Hockey League has featured nine moves of their own (including one merger); the NBA, eight.
There are quite a few reasons for MLB’s stability relative to the other leagues, including antitrust protection, willing local governments, and a little bit more patience when it comes to stadium issues. And baseball hasn’t always possessed such geographic consistency. Consider: the creation of the Rangers actually marked the end of a 20-year period that saw quite a bit of movement throughout Major League Baseball. Rarely did a move leave a city without a franchise — and for those cities left without teams, all had new teams in short order — but there was activity nonetheless.