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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Sources: Rays to explore playing in Montreal

The Tampa Bay Rays received permission from Major League Baseball’s executive council to explore a plan in which they would play early-season home games in the Tampa Bay area and the remainder of the year in Montreal, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN.

While the plan is in its nascent stages, the Rays have embraced the two-city solution as the most feasible to saving baseball in the Tampa Bay area after years of failed attempts to build a new stadium in the region, according to sources.

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 20, 2019 at 01:39 PM | 81 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: joint custody, montreal, rays, relocation, tampa bay

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   1. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: June 20, 2019 at 01:56 PM (#5854106)
So...The Tampa Bay Rays of Quebec, Eh?
   2. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 20, 2019 at 01:56 PM (#5854107)
Is Montreal clamoring for a MLB team to come back?

Will they be named the Tampa Bay Expo-Rays of Montreal?
   3. ThisElevatorIsDrivingMeUpTheWall Posted: June 20, 2019 at 01:59 PM (#5854111)
The Ex-Rays
   4. The Duke Posted: June 20, 2019 at 02:01 PM (#5854114)
When your solution to no attendance is to threaten a move to Montreal, I’m thinking your logic process got derailed.
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: June 20, 2019 at 02:02 PM (#5854115)
Under the plan, the Rays would play in new stadiums in both the Tampa Bay area and Montreal, according to sources.


I can see how this would appeal to MLB. The only thing better than getting a city to fork over hundreds of millions to pay for a new park for a ballclub is for two cities to pay hundreds of millions for a ballpark for a club.

   6. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 20, 2019 at 02:03 PM (#5854116)
According to the article, this plan hinges on the team extorting money from both cities to build new stadiums in each. What is the likelihood of that? I mean, they will only play early season games in Tampa, so, the new stadium will not need a roof. That will save a few hundred million? But, then they will only be playing 20-30 home games in Tampa? That is still BS.
   7. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 20, 2019 at 02:03 PM (#5854117)
Sure, MLB may give their OK, but doesn't Tampa have pretty much an iron-clad lease with the team that would prohibit such a scheme? IANAL, but I'm fairly confident the local judges would see moving the team for half a season as "moving the team" for lease purposes.

Will they be named the Tampa Bay Expo-Rays of Montreal?

The Quebec Rays of Tampa.
   8. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 20, 2019 at 02:04 PM (#5854118)
This would really suck for the players.
   9. RoyalFlush Posted: June 20, 2019 at 02:05 PM (#5854120)
Can't imagine the logistics/costs of staffing and maintaining two stadiums for 40 games a year is a going to help a budget conscious team like the Marlins. I'd think there'd also be some concerns among those who funded the new Miami stadium that won't be used nearly as much.
   10. Banta Posted: June 20, 2019 at 02:06 PM (#5854121)
I've been hearing about the iron clad stadium lease in Tampa for over 20 years now. It's 2019... Those crazy dates have to be getting closer.

What ends later: Rays stadium lease or Mets finish paying Bonilla?
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: June 20, 2019 at 02:10 PM (#5854124)
I've been hearing about the iron clad stadium lease in Tampa for over 20 years now.


So, about shortly before the Rays began play?

   12. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 20, 2019 at 02:12 PM (#5854126)
I've been hearing about the iron clad stadium lease in Tampa for over 20 years now. It's 2019... Those crazy dates have to be getting closer.

2027 is the out date when they can relocate without paying a bunch of money to Tampa.
   13. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: June 20, 2019 at 02:17 PM (#5854130)
Best name I saw on twitter was the Snow Birds
   14. jmurph Posted: June 20, 2019 at 02:19 PM (#5854132)
This feels like it's solidly in the realm of not actually happening. Just bad public negotiation nonsense, I assume.
   15. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 20, 2019 at 02:23 PM (#5854135)
This has the potential to anger fans in both cities.

Fans in Tampa/St. Pete: "Why should I spend the time and money necessary to watch Montreal's baseball team play its contractually obligated games at the Juicebox until the famously ironclad lease ends?"
Fans in Montreal: "I'm supposed to be happy with a couple dozen neutral site games featuring Tampa's baseball team? If it's not the Expos, I'm not interested."
   16. Yonder Alonso in misguided trousers (cardinal) Posted: June 20, 2019 at 02:23 PM (#5854136)
Best name I saw on twitter was the Snow Birds


I don't know if this is on twitter too, but I just thought of Montreal Expats.


As ideas go, I kind of like it, but this is the sort of thing that can only work in OOTP where there are no lawyers or executives to tear it apart immediately.
   17. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 20, 2019 at 02:27 PM (#5854138)

Is Montreal clamoring for a MLB team to come back?


Stephen Bronfman, Charles' son (grandson?) has a group of investors and I believe they have already purchased a plot of land for a potential stadium, but I haven't seen any specifics or how it would be funded. I think some politicos were intrigued, but no commitments.


When your solution to no attendance is to threaten a move to Montreal, I’m thinking your logic process got derailed.


It's a market of 4 million. If you can tap into that, that is bigger than any other potential expansion/relocation market (other than in Mexico, which comes with its own unique set of issues). But I think #15 is right - after having a real team, are they really going to settle for a temp team? I mean, this is all to get Tampa/Hillsborough County to move on a stadium, right?

   18. BrianBrianson Posted: June 20, 2019 at 02:29 PM (#5854141)
Montreal gets a bad rap because the team eventually left, but the same thing happened to Baltimore, Washington, Milwaukee, Seattle, Kansas City, Milwaukee again, Washington again ... and most of those stuck. Montreal was 3rd/4th in NL attendance in the early 80s. When you're looking to relocate, rarely is a top of the league market available. Quebec (or Mexico) is almost certainly the best untapped TV market these days. Anywhere but Montreal would be an even emptier threat.
   19. SoSH U at work Posted: June 20, 2019 at 02:29 PM (#5854142)
I mean, this is all to get Tampa/Hillsborough County to move on a stadium, right?


I would assume so.

   20. jmurph Posted: June 20, 2019 at 02:31 PM (#5854144)
I mean, this is all to get Tampa/Hillsborough County to move on a stadium, right?
I would assume so.

Right, but don't negotiations work better when one side isn't proposing something that just transparently isn't actually going to happen?
   21. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 20, 2019 at 02:35 PM (#5854145)
Wasn't there talk of them splitting games with Orlando not that long ago? That actually makes slightly more sense.
   22. Rusty Priske Posted: June 20, 2019 at 02:36 PM (#5854146)
Montreal Rois
   23. Banta Posted: June 20, 2019 at 02:36 PM (#5854147)
#11… yes. The stadium existed before the team and iirc most did not like the lease from the moment the team entered it, since most have always hated the stadium/location.

So the Mets pay Bonilla longer. Excellent.
   24. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 20, 2019 at 02:40 PM (#5854148)
Right, but don't negotiations work better when one side isn't proposing something that just transparently isn't actually going to happen?
"Hell no! Quiet, you!!" --S. Boras
   25. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 20, 2019 at 02:52 PM (#5854156)
If this is the first step getting a team in Montreal, cool. If this really is just a ploy for a new stadium in Tampa, not cool (I'm with the cynical folks who think this is the real play).

Apropos of nothing:
Christopher Kamka @ckamka 53m53 minutes ago

Jeff Liefer in 2003 is the only player to appear in a game for both the Tampa Bay [Devil] Rays & Montreal Expos in the same season.
   26. PreservedFish Posted: June 20, 2019 at 02:55 PM (#5854157)
It makes no sense, but I love it.
   27. JRVJ Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:02 PM (#5854162)
I don't think this split-city team is going to work out, but it sure will make the hot-stove season interesting when the Passan's of the world drop a tidbit here and a nugget there about this plan.....
   28. . Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:09 PM (#5854164)
It's not baked into the cosmos that professional sports franchises absolutely must play all their games in the same market. It's only a norm. (And a product of pre-modern technology and media, and its attendant limited reach.)

We have, of course, seen regional franchises in both the NBA (KC-Omaha Kings) and ABA (Floridians, Virginia Squires, Carolina Cougars). Maybe more that aren't coming to mind now. Is it unthinkable to have a team play roughly half its games in Tampa, roughly half its games in Montreal, and split its postseason games or something similar? No, it is not. If the fans in both markets would support it, there's really nothing to say it couldn't or shouldn't happen. With modern technology, it's not as if the fans in Tampa/Montreal couldn't watch the team on TV when they play in the other city. And read about the team daily in newspapers and similar outlets/

The NFL is kind of taking steps toward one of its franchises becoming a half-London or 37.5% London team. This could be the wave of the future, actually. Maybe an English Premier League team like Southampton or something tries to partner up with NYC/North Jersey, that kind of thing.
   29. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:15 PM (#5854168)
Soccer would get a bit dicey because you'd need both national federations involved to sign off on it. I can't imagine the USSF being cool with an English team plopping itself down in the middle of its turf.

Especially because there's not a ton of functional difference between the USSF and MLS.
   30. RoyalFlush Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:16 PM (#5854169)
I don't know if this is on twitter too, but I just thought of Montreal Expats.


I saw a "Montreal X-Rays" logo on Twitter I kind of liked.
   31. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:24 PM (#5854172)

We have, of course, seen regional franchises in both the NBA (KC-Omaha Kings) and ABA (Floridians, Virginia Squires, Carolina Cougars). Maybe more that aren't coming to mind now.


The White Sox played some games in Milwaukee in the late 60s. I think occasional regular season games elsewhere in the region used to be kinda common in the NBA? Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game was played in Hershey, PA.
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:24 PM (#5854173)
Is it unthinkable to have a team play roughly half its games in Tampa, roughly half its games in Montreal, and split its postseason games or something similar?


It is unthinkable that two cities will each pay for a new stadium for half as many games as the rest of the league.

   33. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:29 PM (#5854178)
It is unthinkable that two cities will each pay for a new stadium for half as many games as the rest of the league.

Yeah. If you were utilizing existing stadiums, it just might work, but asking for new construction is a pipe-dream.
   34. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:30 PM (#5854179)
If this is the first step getting a team in Montreal, cool. If this really is just a ploy for a new stadium in Tampa, not cool (I'm with the cynical folks who think this is the real play).

I suspect that MLB has short term and long term goals that are served by this announcement. The short term goal is to extort a better deal from Tampa. The long term goal is build credible relocation and/or expansion candidate cities.

MLB wants to go to 32 teams and there isn't a more promising expansion candidate than Montreal.
   35. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:33 PM (#5854183)
The Brooklyn Dodgers played 15 games in Jersey City in 1956 and 1957, and were supposed to play seven more there in 1958.

And of course, Les Expos themselves played 22 games in Puerto Rico in both 2003 and 2004. I hadn't realized it was that many until I looked it up just now; that was darn near what they're suggesting with the Rays.
   36. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:36 PM (#5854184)
It's not baked into the cosmos that professional sports franchises absolutely must play all their games in the same market. It's only a norm. (And a product of pre-modern technology and media, and its attendant limited reach.)


The biggest problem here just seems like these two markets are nowhere near each other and MLB allegedly wants new taxpayer-funded stadia in both cities. I could see something like the Rays moving to Montreal and the Marlins once again becoming the Florida Marlins, playing, say, 30 games in Miami, 30 in Tampa/St. Pete, 15 in Orlando, and 6 in Jacksonville or something like that.

Or maybe this could be a solution for expansion - put a team in Tennessee that splits its games between Nashville and Memphis and/or a team in North Carolina that has home games in Charlotte and Raleigh.

But this specific pairing - Tampa and Montreal? I don't see how that works long-term: it's either a negotiating ploy to extract money from the Tampa area or it's step one in a long-term plan to relocate the Rays to Montreal permanently.

EDIT to add: And even in the regional examples I cite, it would only realistically work if the teams played their partial schedules in existing stadia (e.g., the Florida Marlins play a 6-game home stand every season in the Jacksonville Jaguars' home stadium, etc.)
   37. . Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:39 PM (#5854186)
It is unthinkable that two cities will each pay for a new stadium for half as many games as the rest of the league.


Not if the cost is half or less the "market" cost. And/or if the other deal terms are more favorable to you.
   38. . Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:45 PM (#5854189)
But this specific pairing - Tampa and Montreal? I don't see how that works long-term:


The team becomes popular in both markets. Presto, it works.

These teams play in a single market because of the old-line, pre-Internet media arrangements where reach was far easier and far more effective in the immediate home market. Now that media has a far wider and more immediate reach, that underlying rationale falls apart. If the Cubs played 25 home games in London and the rest in Wrigley, would you become less of a Cubs fan? Putting aside the time zone, would you even have any tougher time following the team and their games? The Cubs and Braves had pretty good size non-local fanbases BITD just because of WGN and WTBS. That media age was practically Mesozoic compared to today.
   39. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:46 PM (#5854192)
Not if the cost is half or less the "market" cost.


I don't understand what you're trying to say here. It's not like Montreal can build a stadium that's only half as big as other MLB stadia - it'll still have to have major-league dimensions and major-league seating capacity. I guess I could see a city that thinks it'd be nice to have a large outdoor venue for concerts and occasional soccer friendlies or whatever, where the idea of getting 30 MLB games to fill some dates could make it more profitable. But that's not really building a stadium FOR an MLB team and I'm not sure it would make sense to make the primary design focus baseball-centric like most modern MLB parks are today.
   40. . Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:48 PM (#5854194)
I don't understand what you're trying to say here.


Half the "market" public contribution. I mean, no, if MLB wants Montreal to build a full-fledged MLB stadium entirely financed by the public to host 40 MLB games a year, that's not a good deal.
   41. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:49 PM (#5854197)
Half the "market" public contribution. I mean, no, if MLB wants Montreal to build a full-fledged MLB stadium entirely financed by the public to host 40 MLB games a year, that's not a good deal.

If the Rays were willing to pay half the cost of a stadium in Montreal, they could probably get their pick of sites in Tampa, by using the same money.
   42. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:50 PM (#5854198)
If the Cubs played 25 home games in London and the rest in Wrigley, would you become less of a Cubs fan? Putting aside the time zone, would you even have any tougher time following the team and their games?


To be fair, I just moved to Portland, Maine, so I have to concede the point here. From here on out, any Cubs games I attend in person will require me flying to a different city anyway.
   43. SoSH U at work Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:50 PM (#5854199)
Not if the cost is half or less the "market" cost.


Unless each city wants to build a shitty stadium (and Tampa, at least, already has one of those), I don't see how the costs are remotely closed to halved.

And/or if the other deal terms are more favorable to you.


They build them, in part, under the pretense that it will attract more people to the area around the stadium. How is half as many games going to be more favorable to the municipality?

   44. . Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:54 PM (#5854200)
Unless each city wants to build a shitty stadium (and Tampa, at least, already has one of those), I don't see how the costs are remotely closed to halved.


I meant the public contribution, not the full cost. I didn't express that clearly.

They build them, in part, under the pretense that it will attract more people to the area around the stadium. How is half as many games going to be more favorable to the municipality?


I meant deal terms like concessions, parking, suites, ability to use for non-baseball dates, etc.
   45. SoSH U at work Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:59 PM (#5854204)
I meant deal terms like concessions, parking, suites, ability to use for non-baseball dates, etc.


Sure, there could be some of that. But they could negotiate for those things now while also getting the 81 home dates, and thus far Tampa/St. Pete and the Rays haven't been able to reach a deal. I just don't see how halving the number of dates it's used does anything for it.

I think the idea behind a shared market, given the new ways of consuming the sport, is somewhat intriguing, and would be really interesting if you had two cities with existing ballpark infrastructure in place (that wasn't as dreary as Tampa's). This plan isn't that.

   46. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: June 20, 2019 at 04:07 PM (#5854209)
Rob Manfred will consider literally anything.
   47. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 20, 2019 at 04:16 PM (#5854215)
Unless each city wants to build a shitty stadium (and Tampa, at least, already has one of those)


So does Montreal!
   48. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 20, 2019 at 04:19 PM (#5854218)
To be fair, I just moved to Portland, Maine,
I was just there over Memorial Day! Beautiful city you got there.
   49. The Duke Posted: June 20, 2019 at 04:34 PM (#5854225)
They ought to go the extra mile and deem all Tampa games to count in American League standings and all Montreal games to be NL games. They could then qualify for both AL and NL playoffs
   50. geonose Posted: June 20, 2019 at 04:46 PM (#5854231)
Apparently this has been blown out of the water entirely, as the city of St. Pete has said no dice.
   51. crict Posted: June 20, 2019 at 05:07 PM (#5854240)
There's been discussion in Montreal if some sort of retractable roof would be necessary on a new stadium, with the terrible April weather.

I guess if you had a long-term commitment for that deal you could build a stadium without one, since the team would be in Tampa in April. Bad move if you want your own team in the long run, though.

In a sense also, Montrealers want baseball back, but I think they've forgotten how long a season is. Maybe 40-50 dates a year is more realistic for the market.
   52. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 20, 2019 at 05:28 PM (#5854252)
But this specific pairing - Tampa and Montreal? I don't see how that works long-term:


The team becomes popular in both markets. Presto, it works.


Your plan to make the Rays more popular in Tampa is by playing there less often?
   53. PreservedFish Posted: June 20, 2019 at 05:30 PM (#5854256)
Where'd you eat Elroy?
   54. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: June 20, 2019 at 05:32 PM (#5854257)
Apparently this has been blown out of the water entirely, as the city of St. Pete has said no dice.

I wonder if the use agreement specifically states that they have to play every game at the Trop? If it doesn’t say that explicitly this could turn into a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim situation.
   55. Walt Davis Posted: June 20, 2019 at 06:07 PM (#5854266)
Probably hoping Trump will swoop in and negotiate one of his special deals to keep the Rays in Tampa ... which would just about seal the deal for a move in 2021.
   56. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 20, 2019 at 06:42 PM (#5854278)
Where'd you eat Elroy?
First night, tasting menu at Hugo's, which was just superb. Lobster roll (butter, no mayo, natch) at Boone's on the waterfront the next afternoon, followed by a couple of local breweries and then dinner at Drifter's Wife, which was also excellent.

Saturday was lobster and fried clams at Portland Lobster Co. for lunch. We got seats on the rail looking over the water, there was a band playing Paul Simon (and playing it well!), warm sunny day, it was perfect...until I got what I have to think was food poisoning later that evening. So, I was down for the count on Saturday night, which was unfortunate because we had to cancel our reservation at Scales. Fortunately I was fine by the next day for our flight home. Not sure what did it, because my wife and I shared pretty much everything we ate and she was fine. Maybe I just happened to get a bad clam or something. Nonetheless a great trip overall.
   57. Zach Posted: June 20, 2019 at 08:07 PM (#5854324)
It's not baked into the cosmos that professional sports franchises absolutely must play all their games in the same market. It's only a norm. (And a product of pre-modern technology and media, and its attendant limited reach.)

I think the concept of "Root, root, root for the home team" is pretty fundamental.
   58. Howie Menckel Posted: June 20, 2019 at 09:39 PM (#5854423)
Jeff Passan
‏Verified account @JeffPassan

BREAKING: The Tampa Bay Rays have received MLB's permission to explore becoming two-city team: the Tampa Bay area and Montreal, sources tell ESPN. The plan: Play early-season home games in the Tampa Bay area and finish the season in Montreal.

MY EDIT: Oh, that was a 1:37 pm tweet, so I'm the target for scorn, not Passan being Captain Obvious.... and now since I RTFA I see this is his own story.

move it along, nothing to see here
   59. PreservedFish Posted: June 20, 2019 at 09:42 PM (#5854426)
First night, tasting menu at Hugo's, which was just superb. Lobster roll (butter, no mayo, natch) at Boone's on the waterfront the next afternoon, followed by a couple of local breweries and then dinner at Drifter's Wife, which was also excellent.


I've still never eaten at Hugo's. Sorry you missed Scales - that's a favorite of mine - but it sounds like you did a good job! Portland is a rockin' little city and you came at the perfect time, just before the tourist season peaks.
   60. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 20, 2019 at 10:16 PM (#5854447)

The White Sox played some games in Milwaukee in the late 60s.


The Packers played some games in Milwaukee every year between 1953 and 1994.

The idea isn't impossible logistically but it is in terms of venues.
   61. kthejoker Posted: June 20, 2019 at 10:51 PM (#5854485)
They're really committing to this opener thing, huh?
   62. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: June 20, 2019 at 10:52 PM (#5854487)
The obvious thing that Montreal and St Petersburg have in common is #### domed stadiums. Ever since the Kingdome was imploded they don't have any real rivals in terms of #### baseball domes. Splitting games between the Trop and Stade Olympique would be awesome and self-referentially comic. Building new stadiums in both cities would completely ruin the synergy.
I wonder if the use agreement specifically states that they have to play every game at the Trop? If it doesn’t say that explicitly this could turn into a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim situation.
The lease said that they couldn't negotiate to play any home games anywhere but the Trop before 2027. Not only can they not play elsewhere, they can't enter into serious discussions about playing elsewhere. In 2016 or so they got an amendment to the lease saying that they could talk to towns near Tampa about a ballpark, but not further afield. I don't know if this means that they can play 30 games a year in a new park in Clearwater starting in 2023.
   63. asinwreck Posted: June 20, 2019 at 11:19 PM (#5854511)
This thread was worth it for #61.
   64. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 21, 2019 at 12:57 AM (#5854568)
New idea: Change the name of the Rays to the Reyes and they can be called Les Rois in Montreal.
   65. Howie Menckel Posted: June 21, 2019 at 01:20 AM (#5854574)
meh, more old info
   66. My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected Posted: June 21, 2019 at 08:46 AM (#5854586)
The team becomes popular in both markets. Presto, it works.

If they had some ham, they could have ham and eggs...if they had some eggs.
   67. SoSH U at work Posted: June 21, 2019 at 09:41 AM (#5854598)

This thread was worth it for #61.


Agreed.
   68. . Posted: June 21, 2019 at 01:13 PM (#5854706)
I think the concept of "Root, root, root for the home team" is pretty fundamental.


That concept is also the product of the prehistoric media age from whence "home teams" issued. A ton of sports teams around the globe don't even have a city name in their name. Chelsea Football Club could play half their games in NYC and they'd still be Chelsea Football Club.
   69. caspian88 Posted: June 21, 2019 at 03:24 PM (#5854744)
Chelsea FC is named after the borough of Chelsea. It's not really any different than a team today being named after Brooklyn.
   70. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 21, 2019 at 03:44 PM (#5854751)
It's not baked into the cosmos that professional sports franchises absolutely must play all their games in the same market.

Not by a long shot. In the early NBA teams routinely played "home" games in such cities as Hartford, Providence, Dayton and Hershey, PA. And it wasn't until 1995 that the Green Bay Packers stopped playing 2 to 4 games a year in Milwaukee.
   71. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 21, 2019 at 04:14 PM (#5854764)

Chelsea Football Club could play half their games in NYC and they'd still be Chelsea Football Club.

I guess, if they played that half of their games in Chelsea, Manhattan. Not sure what that proves.
   72. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 21, 2019 at 04:18 PM (#5854767)

And yeah, the Homestead Grays also split their time between Pittsburgh and DC for many years.

But modern one-sport stadiums cost a lot of money so this type of arrangement just isn't practical today.
   73. . Posted: June 21, 2019 at 05:22 PM (#5854785)
I guess, if they played that half of their games in Chelsea, Manhattan.


They'd still be Chelsea Football Club if they played half of their games in Red Bull Arena. (Harrison, NJ). Technically, Stamford Bridge isn't in Chelsea, but that's really not the main point. The New York Jets don't play in New York.

But modern one-sport stadiums cost a lot of money so this type of arrangement just isn't practical today.


To a degree, it's *already* happening. Regular season games of American sports teams, including college teams, are somewhat regularly now played outside the United States. The Cubs and Cardinals, e.g., are going to play a series in London. The French Trophee Des Champions Game was played in Red Bull Arena a few years back. London Irish moved a Prem Rugby match to RBA a couple years ago. This is an increasing trend and there's no reason to believe it couldn't develop into something like the X-Rays. It probably won't literally be the Tampa/Montreal split, but similar things are bound to happen. It's virtually inevitable.

   74. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 21, 2019 at 07:00 PM (#5854804)
The New York Jets don't play in New York.


The New York Jets play in the New York metropolitan area. Similarly, the Green Bay Packers' market is the state of Wisconsin, which includes both Green Bay and Milwaukee. Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game in Hershey, PA was played in the home state of his Philadelphia Warriors - Google Maps says the two cities are less than 100 miles apart. In the days before ubiquitous television, it was an opportunity to expand the NBA's reach to nearby communities.

As I suggested upthread, I can see something along these lines as a solution to expansion in state(s) with enough population to support a major-league team, but not concentrated enough within a single metro area (Tennessee, North Carolina). But the idea of trying to create a shared market between Montreal and Tampa just seems weird and nobody has really given an example that's particularly analogous.
   75. cardsfanboy Posted: June 21, 2019 at 07:53 PM (#5854811)
But the idea of trying to create a shared market between Montreal and Tampa just seems weird and nobody has really given an example that's particularly analogous.


Being weird is not a bad thing though.. It's about whether it's viable. Can you create two groups of loyal fans in two distinct markets? With tv the way it is, I don't see why not. If one of the drawbacks of creating large crowds is the relative huge number of available games, then reducing those available games in theory should increase crowd capacity as it becomes more of an event driven thing.... The NFL gets such great attendance because it's a once a week event type of thing. Reducing the available tickets to a baseball game in a season from 81 to 40 or so drives up demand. Now the hard part is whether or not you can also increase interest in the area that the tv ratings will be enough to make money etc...

Honestly I think it can be done. I don't know if Montreal/Tampa is the best way to do it, but it's not a bad attempt to be honest.... but I think the fact that Montreal left, that if I'm the city of Montreal I would want a guarantee signed by mlb that ensures some type of stability.
   76. winnipegwhip Posted: June 21, 2019 at 09:14 PM (#5854840)
What city does MLB piss off when it comes to assigning post season games?
   77. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 21, 2019 at 09:30 PM (#5854848)
What city does MLB piss off when it comes to assigning post season games?


Montreal, if I understood the proposal correctly. As I understood it, the plan was for Tampa to host games when it's too cold in Montreal (Apr - May, Sep - Oct) and for Montreal to host games when it's too hot in Tampa (Jun - Aug), with the result being that neither city would need to have a domed stadium, which would save some money for construction in both cities. So Montreal loses out on any potential playoff games while Tampa loses out on the lucrative summer months when the kids are out of school and MLB attendance is its highest. Isn't lose-lose just another way to say win-win?
   78. pikepredator Posted: June 22, 2019 at 09:24 AM (#5854938)
Wishcasting best-case scenarios here . . . If the bulk of Rays' fans are rabid, they *might* be angered by this, and protest by not attending. But if it's the latter or a less vengeful version of the rabid fan, there will still be plenty of games for people to attend. Anecdotally it seems like a not-insignificant portion of people at Rays' games are supporting the visiting team. And it's not like the stadium is 1/2 full more nights, so I doubt people would be turned away from sell-outs.

And in Montreal, certainly people would be happy to have baseball back. It's also a much easier trip from upstate NY and Vermont (not that a significant number of people live there . . .) than going to Boston or New York.

Just looking at it from the attendance vacuum, I'd certainly expect this to boost Rays' attendance overall. Perhaps significantly. What if 3/4 of the people who already attend Rays games still attend, but in 1/2 the games? It would mean a stadium that is more densely packed, which is a more fun fan experience. And more of a "hey, the Rays are in town!" kind of feeling.
   79. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 22, 2019 at 01:45 PM (#5854971)
Montreal to host games when it's too hot in Tampa (Jun - Aug)

When is it ever too hot to get into an air conditioned car and drive to an air conditioned stadium to sit in air conditioning and watch baseball? That's the combination the good citizens of Arlington just spent a billion dollars on to solve the team's dreadfully embarrassing attendance problems* since no one wants to sit in a hot stadium to watch baseball.


* NOTE: The Rangers are currently 5th in the AL in attendance per game.
   80. Eddo Posted: June 22, 2019 at 04:39 PM (#5855015)
When is it ever too hot to get into an air conditioned car and drive to an air conditioned stadium to sit in air conditioning and watch baseball?

The ending of the sentence you partially quoted was "with the result being that neither city would need to have a domed stadium, which would save some money for construction in both cities.".
   81. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 22, 2019 at 05:25 PM (#5855029)
The ending of the sentence you partially quoted was "with the result being that neither city would need to have a domed stadium, which would save some money for construction in both cities.".

Good luck getting Tampa and/or St. Pete to pony up a subsequent 9 or 10 figure check to replace their dome with a new mallpark for the benefit of their 10,000 fans to attend 40 games a year. Stranger things have happened when local politicians get in bed with sports team owners, but Tampa seems to be a particularly poor market to try that gambit.

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