Rays to add Montreal sign during playoffs amid shared custody reports
The Tampa Bay Rays plan to hang a Montreal sign at Tropicana Field during the MLB playoffs, fueling rumors of a future shared custody between the two cities for the club.
Rays team president Matt Silverman said on Saturday on the This week at Rays Baseball radio show that the “very simple Tampa Bay / Montreal graphic” will be displayed in false road territory near right field.
“Especially with baseball’s eyes on us in October, we want this visible symbol of our plan and our enthusiasm for it,” Silverman said. “It will subtly mark the effort and keep the focus on winning and winning games in October.”
The Rays are currently 96-59 and won the AL East Division title on Saturday. Their lease at Tropicana Field, located in St. Petersburg, Florida, expires after the 2027 season.
“The focus has really shifted to the positive aspects of this idea and what it can unlock,” said Silverman. “These are great baseball fields and outdoor games when the weather is perfect. It is a public establishment that can host baseball, soccer, football, graduation ceremonies, concerts, etc. It is a connection with Montreal that will only add to our local economy in terms of jobs, tourism, commerce. …
“Montreal, for us, is the best city to partner with due to weather conditions, the east coast time zone,… Canada’s historic presence, the tourism market and the economic partner. These things can not be a top priority for our fans, but it’s very important for our elected officials who support all of this. “
Silverman said MLB also fully believes in its sister city plan.
“This is the best and maybe the only chance for baseball to be here for generations,” said Silverman. “That has been our only focus. It has never been about other markets and relocation openings. It has always been how we can make it work here.… There has been an encouraging change among our people. fans and our community and a real openness to the plan.
“[Tampa] mayor [Jane] Castor was the first official who spoke up and expressed his openness and more and more voices are joining this choir and I am more optimistic today than I have ever been that we will get there and we will secure the real future here in Tampa Bay for decades to come. “
Silverman’s comments follow a report in The Journal of Montreal with St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman saying the team was in favor of dividing the season in Montreal.
“The Rays are really interested in playing the start of the season here in St. Petersburg and the rest of the campaign in Montreal,” said Kriseman. They are seriously considering this option.
The newspaper also reported that negotiations are continuing between Quebec businessman Stephen Bronfman, executive chairman of Claridge Inc., and the provincial government over a new stadium. Bronfman was looking to acquire land in the Peel Basin region of Montreal.
“We don’t have to say that we have to be ready,” Stephen Bronfman told The Canadian Press in 2019. “We are ready.
“Frustration is only time,” he added. “It’s a lifelong project, so if it takes another year, that’s okay because it will come.”
His father, Charles Bronfman, owned the Montreal Expos from their inception in 1968 until 1990.
Montreal has not had a baseball franchise since the Expos moved in 2004 and became the Washington Nationals. The Olympic Stadium has hosted exhibition matches since 2014-19.