Despite some skepticism, Rays owner Stuart Sternberg continued and signed: the sister city project involving Tampa Bay and Montreal went ahead.
“We believe in the idea of having baseball in our community while creating bonds, connections and opportunities with a world-class city like Montreal,” Sternberg said Thursday when he was invited to take stock of the situation of the Rays and the future of the Tropicana. Field site in front of St. Petersburg City Council.
“I’ve heard the skepticism, and I can assure you that the plan made those who followed the file on a daily basis skeptical, namely the commissioner. [Rob Manfred], the people who work with him and with me too, he added, according to comments first reported by journalist Jérémy Filosa, from 98.5 FM. Some people can not look beyond and understand how wonderful this concept can be for this city and this region, while others look beyond and recognize that it is an opportunity to be grasped that can really be different and innovative. “
A new stadium planned
This session, analyzed by QMI Agency, also provided some exciting revelations.
While Sternberg talked about possible tourism and cultural partnerships between Quebec and Florida, Ray co-presidents Brian Auld and Matthew Silverman followed suit to raise the possibility of raising the St. Petersburg region to the national level and even internationally. According to Rays representatives, however, this must involve the construction of a new stadium on the site around Tropicana Field, the team’s current home.
“It would be the potential to play our training camp matches at the new stadium and around 40 regular season matches, which means more opportunities for Rays fans to watch the team live at the stadium,” he said. Furthermore, Auld advanced, still under the concept of sister cities. And remember, every game [incluant ceux disputés à Montréal] will be broadcast on TV and radio. ”
Auld also insisted on the economic impact that the new multisport (and environmentally responsible) stadium would have for the region due to the jobs created, as well as the new shops and restaurants that would be added around.
Invited in turn, various members of the city council noted the importance of keeping the rays in the Tampa Bay area, but still agreed that it was better to have joint custody. [avec Montréal] instead of witnessing a final departure from the club.
Specifically, Silverman, for his part, emphasized that the concept of sister cities always had the support of the commissioner. Negotiations with the Players Association must nevertheless take place with Major League Baseball, where salary compensation can be discussed. The issue of stadiums, both in the Tampa Bay area and in Montreal, must finally move on.
“The time has come to put it all together, to work here in the Tampa Bay area (…) and also to work with our friends in Montreal to try to make this possible,” he summed up.
Discretion in Montreal
On this side of the border, Baseball Montreal Group, led by businessman Stephen Bronfman, appears to be beginning to focus on discretion. In March, following a registration in the lobbyist registry to lead to a meeting with the provincial government, Prime Minister François Legault was open to help build a new baseball stadium in Montreal.
“If we are able to bring a baseball team, then it provides more revenue than the help we give to the company, well, everyone is a winner, including Quebecers”, had then decided the Prime Minister, who also has his hands full these days with the Formula 1 Grand Prix dossier.