The concept may seem unthinkable. Still, the Tampa Bay Rays can play their first games of a season in Florida, then the following in Montreal.
The Tampa Bay Rays currently lead American League Baseball, one of two divisions, along with the National League, which makes up Major League Baseball (MLB).
The franchise is doing well. She is already qualified for the playoffs and will participate in these last series for the third year in a row, while she is dependent on salary three times lower than for some of the opponents.
But there you are, the team is based in St. Petersburg, Florida, one of the less favorable baseball markets on the field. On the avenue adjacent to the stadium, Tropicana Field, there are many restaurants and shops. On the other hand, the flags of the rays are rare.
Despite the sale of products for the next playoffs, the stadium store is empty. The excitement is not there, and the franchise has only attracted 9,000 spectators on average during this season, while dominating the league. This is the 27th worst attendance of the 30 MLB teams.
Look for money elsewhere
This situation therefore gave the idea to the owner of the club, Stuart Sternberg, to explore other avenues and propose a team in shared custody with Montreal. This would allow him to have other sources of financial income: more TV rights and the opportunity to increase the ticket price, since the team would play fewer games at home.
Loyal Florida supporters as well as the club’s minority shareholders view this shared custody very negatively. They have also sued Stuart Sternberg, whom they accuse of having negotiated with Canada since 2014, without consulting them.
Quebec is not really convinced
MLB would like to see high-performance baseball return to Quebec. But again, sports fans are not really convinced by this idea. Only a few businessmen are behind this project.
And yet, according to information from the Quebec media, important news about baseball will be announced after the municipal elections on November 7.