Montreal is known for its love for hockey, but is the city ready for Major League Baseball (MLB) as well? The Montreal Expos played in the MLB from 1969 to 2004, before they relocated to Washington, D.C. and became the Washington Nationals. Since the Expos left, Montreal has been without a MLB team, but the city and its citizens have been actively pushing to get an MLB team back.
History of the Montreal Expos
The Montreal Expos were the first Major League team in Canada and the only Canadian team in the National League. The team was founded in 1969 and played in the city until 2004. During their time in Montreal, the Expos had a few successful seasons and won their division in 1981 and 1982, and had a winning record for five consecutive seasons from 1983 to 1987. Despite their success, the Expos struggled financially and the team was sold to Jeffrey Loria in 1999.
The Impact of the Expos Departure
The departure of the Montreal Expos had a significant impact on the city. The closing of the Olympic Stadium where the Expos used to play had a serious impact on the local economy and caused job losses. The departure of the team also had a psychological impact on the city, as fans were left without a team to cheer for and the city was no longer represented in the MLB.
The Push for MLB in Montreal
Since the departure of the Expos in 2004, there has been a push to bring a MLB team back to Montreal. The city has actively been campaigning to bring an MLB team back and in 2009, the Canadian government announced that it would provide funding for the construction of a new ballpark in the city. The push to bring a MLB team back to Montreal has been gaining momentum in recent years, with the city hosting several exhibition games in 2014 and 2019.
The Benefits of MLB in Montreal
Bringing a MLB team back to Montreal would be beneficial for the city in many ways. Economic benefits would come from increased tourism and job creation. The city would also benefit from increased investment in infrastructure and a boost in the local economy. The return of a MLB team would also have a psychological impact on the city, as it would be a source of pride for the city and its citizens.
The Challenges of Bringing MLB to Montreal
Despite the benefits of bringing a MLB team back to Montreal, there are some challenges that come with the process. Building a new ballpark in the city would be a costly and time-consuming process, and the team would need to find an owner with deep pockets. Additionally, the Canadian government would need to provide tax breaks and other incentives to make the project viable.
The Return of the Montreal Expos?
There has been speculation that the Montreal Expos could make a return to Major League Baseball. There have been rumours of investors interested in bringing the Expos back, but so far nothing has come of it. The Expos’ former owner, Jeffrey Loria, has been vocal about his desire to bring the team back to Montreal, but he has yet to make any concrete moves in that direction.
The Impact of the Global Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the push to bring a MLB team back to Montreal. The pandemic has caused a financial crisis in the MLB, with teams struggling to keep up with the lost revenue. The MLB has also been struggling with declining viewership and has been looking for ways to boost its popularity. The pandemic has also caused delays in the construction of a new ballpark, making it more difficult to bring a MLB team back to Montreal.
Montreal is a city with a rich sports culture and a deep love for baseball, and the city has been actively pushing for a Major League Baseball team for years. Despite the push and the support from the city and its citizens, there are still many challenges and obstacles that need to be overcome before a MLB team can be brought back to Montreal. The global pandemic has added an additional layer of complexity to the process, but the city remains hopeful that one day it will be home to a MLB team once again.
Montreal Expos, Major League Baseball, MLB, Montreal, Olympic Stadium, Jeffrey Loria, Economic Benefits, Psychological Impact, Global Pandemic, New Ballpark, Tax Breaks