If you still have your pinwheel Expos cap and long for the days of that wacky umbrella roof trying (and failing) to open and close in old Olympic Stadium, and you’re one of those exiled baseball fans trapped under the weight of the expectations that the city places on its Canadiens each year, then your long nightmare might be over. In 2004, the Expos left town to play as the third baseball franchise to do business in Washington, D.C., taking the name “Nationals” instead of trying the “Senators” sobriquet a third time in all mlb MLB betting sites.
In recent years, former Expo Warren Cromartie has led an effort in Montreal to get baseball back. Back in April, the city hosted a pair of exhibition tilts featuring the Cincinnati Reds and Toronto Blue Jays, drawing a combined 96,000 fans. In 2014, a similar pair of exhibitions drew 90,000 fans. According to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, this means that Montreal could well have the support network for a major league team.
Will the Expos Return to Montreal and to MLB Betting?
However, Olympic Stadium – which barely qualified as a major league caliber stadium when the Expos were here – is not an adequate place to start a new franchise. Commissioner Manfred indicated that the city would need to put together a plan to build a facility that would support a team –but that he also realized that Montreal would deserve a commitment to get a franchise from MLB before it started to break ground. The fact that Montreal neither has an existing ownership group or a stadium plan means that all the city can do right now is talk about how great a new baseball team would be. If the city can put together a viable ownership group, then things would change. There could be talk about a potential site for a stadium and some of the other substantial steps that have to happen for MLB to consider granting a new franchise or permitting relocation.
With 30 teams, MLB is not considering expansion at the present time. Just adding one team would bring the number of franchises to an unwieldy 31– meaning that one team would be off every day. Ideally, MLB would have to contract a team, add a second team or permit a team to relocate to Montreal. The two most likely candidates for moving are the Oakland Athletics and the Tampa Bay Rays. The A’s are currently housed in the Oakland Coliseum, a stadium that really is no longer fit for baseball or football – but it still is the home off the A’s and the NFL’s Oakland Raiders.
If the A’s did move, though, they are more likely to stay in California. If the A’s did move to Montreal, you’d look for some shifting among the divisions, as the Kansas City Royals or the Chicago White Sox would likely move to the American League West and the Montreal A’s (or Expos, or whatever name they take on) would move to the American League Central. It would make no sense for that team to stay in the West, particularly with the unbalanced schedule that features a lot of divisional matchups.
But what about Tampa Bay? They also have a lackluster attendance record – and an unattractive stadium. However, the Rays are handcuffed to Tropicana Field until 2027 because of the Use Agreement they have signed. If the Rays leave before 2027, this agreement calls for monetary damages over $100 million. The Rays have asked the city for permission to do a stadium search in the region, but the city really has no reason to work with the Rays because of this clause. If the Rays haven’t put together a deal within five or six years, though, moving to Montreal becomes a lot more likely. For now, though, Montreal is still waiting.