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-   -   Could Expos return to Montreal? (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=192837)

MTLskyline Jul 28, 2011 11:13 PM

Could Expos return to Montreal?
 
Pretty much every other city that is rumoured to get a pro sports team gets its own thread, so here is one for the Expos.

As of now, it looks as though there is nothing serious on the table yet. I would prefer an AL team, since games against the Red Sox, Yankees and even Blue Jays will be guaranteed to draw more than Expos games against the Phillies, Mets and Braves.

I'm not a big fan of using the Hippodrome's location though. That area isn't exactly easy to get to.

I think a good spot would either have to be very close to downtown, or in a western/south-western neighbourhood. There are not many baseball fans in the east end or northern areas of the city.

Here are a few sites I like:
-Griffintown
-Montreal Technopark (the area in between the Champlain and Victoria Bridges)
-Peel Bassin (where that Casino project was supposed to go a few years back)

Quote:

Could Expos return to Montreal?

Broadcaster approached by business group, sparking rumours of an MLB return to Montreal

By MATTHEW ROSS, SPECIAL TO THE GAZETTE
July 28, 2011

It has been seven years since the Expos left town, but the dream of Major League Baseball returning one day remains for many fans.

And that dream has now been given some hope thanks to Rodger Brulotte, the former longtime French-language broadcaster for the Expos.

Last Friday, on radio station CKAC, Brulotte said he has been approached by an unnamed business group interested in trying to bring baseball back to the city – and we’re not talking about the minor leagues.
Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/...#ixzz1TRXLf2ni

Quote:

REQUIRED INFO
Could Expos return to Montreal?
Matthew Ross
The Gazette (Montreal)
July 28, 2011
http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/...#ixzz1TRXLf2ni


volguus zildrohar Jul 29, 2011 12:21 AM

Why did The Expos leave in the first place? It's my understanding that the games were sparsely attended then so what's different now?

Black Star Jul 29, 2011 12:45 AM

Love to see the Xpros come back.:cheers: Another reason to go to Montreal. Hey I heard they have shoes stores on St Cathrine St!

P Unit Jul 29, 2011 1:00 AM

As a diehard Jays fan, I would love love love to see a team back in Montreal. A new stadium would be a must, though. I don't know Montreal well enough to talk about location, but a smallish stadium (30-35K capacity) would be ideal. The Big O, even if everything else like location and atmosphere were ideal, is still a HUGE stadium to fill.

It would be neat to have them in the AL East, although it would require some pretty major realignment of the divisions. I think Tampa Bay would be the obvious odd team out. If Oakland ends up moving (and I really don't think they will), the AL West would be down to 3 teams unless they move to San Jose or somewhere on the west coast. Move TB to the AL Central, KC to the West maybe?

I think the dollar being high and the confidence that it'll stay high would really make a difference to Montreal's ability to be successful. Even the Jays, with a much larger local and TV market, had a lot of trouble with the low dollar. Now that things are better on that front, I see no reason why Montreal couldn't be successful. It's a good baseball town, it was just the victim of a bunch of unfortunate circumstances...

artvandelay Jul 29, 2011 2:05 AM

Wow, great news!:psycho:

It's still a longshot, but at least there is some interest. A team in the AL would be awesome - I think that Tampa Bay would be the team most likely to move. Their plans for a new stadium in St. Pete fell through, and attendance has been weak in the past few years even though they have an outstanding team.

MTLskyline Jul 29, 2011 2:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by volguus zildrohar (Post 5362341)
Why did The Expos leave in the first place? It's my understanding that the games were sparsely attended then so what's different now?

Sorry for the long post.

The Expos left for a bunch of reasons. Poor attendance was one reason, but it wasn't the only one, and it certainly wasn't always the case.

For one, they were the smallest market team in the league.

Second, the Canadian dollar became quite weak during the 1990s (back then 1 Canadian dollar was only worth about $0.62 US. To put things in comparison, 1 Canadian dollar is today worth $1.05 USD, and 0.73 Euros)

Third, the team was greatly mismanaged after Charles Bronfman sold the team in the early 1990s. Claude Brochu was the next owner, and he kept threatening to move the team to places like Arizona or Washington. In 1994, the Expos had the best record in a season cut short by a baseball strike. The following year the Expos became known for fire sales. Brochu sold his portion to a New York art dealer named Jeffrey Loria.

This sums up well what Jeffrey Loria did (among many things):
Quote:

1993 – Failed in bid to purchase the Baltimore Orioles.
1999 – Initial $12 million USD investment in the Montreal Expos for a 24% interest in the franchise.
2000 – Instead of putting up an additional $39 million towards a new downtown ballpark in Montreal as called for in the deal under which he entered as an investor, Loria outmaneuvered the other partners by cancelling those plans and initiating capital calls. Those capital calls result in Loria investing an additional $18 million to increase his ownership percentage from 24% to 93%. Thus Loria gained 93% of the Expos for roughly a $30 million investment.
2001 – Loria threatens MLB with an antitrust lawsuit if they proceed with plans to contract the Montreal franchise without allowing Loria to continue to own another MLB team, preferably in Washington DC.
2002 – MLB exchanges Loria’s ownership interest in the Montreal Expos for the Florida Marlins. The price MLB ascribed to the Expos was $120 million — a 900 percent return on his original investment, but only a 400 percent return on his total Expos ownership investment — plus a $38.5 million loan, $15 million of which was later forgiven.
http://2thinkgood.com/2011/03/28/the...double-double/
The games tended to be sparsely attended mostly after 1998. Prior to 98 they retained a certain degree of respectability (18,000+ on average almost every year prior to 1998). At their peak in the mid 1980s, the Expos managed to draw in the high 20,000s on average. They were at one time squarely in the middle of the pack, and even near the top in terms of attendance some years. http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/1...attendance.htm

In the 1980s, teams like Cleveland, Atlanta, Texas and Pittsburgh all had pretty similar attendance figures to the Expos in the 2000s. They all received new stadiums in the 90s (Pittsburgh in the early 2000s) and their attendance improved to respectable levels.
http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/attendance.htm

I'm pretty confident that a new outdoor stadium (that was a little on the smaller side, maybe 35,000 seats) and well located would draw people to the games. I'd seriously consider being a season ticket holder! As long as the Canadian dollar remains strong compared to the US Dollar (no signs it won't), and MLB imposes some sort of salary cap, Montreal might just be able to thrive. It is not like this city has no history with baseball. Of course it will take some clever marketing to remind people how fun it used to be to go to the park and watch a ball game.

From what I have read, enrollment in youth baseball in Montreal and Quebec has surprisingly increased in the past few years.

osmo Jul 29, 2011 3:32 AM

I hope they do. I loved the Expos very much they were the first baseball team I was exposed too back in the early 90's :)

2 things would have to happen IMO for this to even be a possibility.

A. Firm money for a Stadium
B. No more Bud Selig

I couldn't see Selig caving in like Bettman in letting a team come back across the border.

What would be some teams that would be in trouble? This financial fiasco in the states could sink some over-extended (exposed) owners. If the Dodgers can go broke, any team can!

Right of the bat Oakland and Tampa if they can't get new stadium builds up would be prime for the pickings.

The Washington Nats owner Ted Lerner is worth a crap load but he made all his money in Real Estate. He has a heavy portfolio still weighted in RE, he might be taking heavy haircuts lol. You know I'd love for a Phoenix/Winnipeg type situation to brew up with the Nats and Expos. haha

bikegypsy Jul 29, 2011 4:11 AM

I believe that a return of Expos is possible with a new stadium. When I lived in Montreal, I attended a few games at the Big O. This stadium was designed for athletic events. It's fine for huge concerts but the baseball and soccer experiences for the fans was a cold one.

The new management should look carefully at what the CFL franchise did to built the team and fan base. Simplicity combined with baby steps.

ToxiK Jul 29, 2011 4:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MTLskyline (Post 5362259)
I would prefer an AL team



Here are a few sites I like:
-Griffintown
-Montreal Technopark (the area in between the Champlain and Victoria Bridges)
-Peel Bassin (where that Casino project was supposed to go a few years back)

NL over AL anytime!

I totally agree with your choices of locations (especially the last 2 ones).

Nicko999 Jul 29, 2011 4:45 AM

I'm not a baseball fan but from what I've read, the 1994 strike was the beggining of the end for the Expos.

Quote:

The Montreal Expos finished the season with the best record in Major League Baseball. The Expos had 74 wins compared to 40 losses. The 1994 Major League Baseball strike forced an end to the season and any postseason aspirations that the franchise had

The team was also drawing well at home: through 52 home games in 1994, 1,276,250 fans had attended Expos games, for an average of 24,543 per game. At that pace, the Expos would have had a good chance of drawing two million fans for the first time since 1983. The season, however, was stopped due to the 1994 players' strike. The World Series, for which the Expos appeared to be destined, was never played and Montreal lost many of its players during the next season due to free agency and salary constraints and the team never recovered. The 1994 Montreal Expos team that could have been remains one of baseball's hot discussion points. The collapse of the Expos would eventually lead to the team moving to Washington D.C. ten years later.

EastVanMark Jul 29, 2011 6:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MTLskyline (Post 5362528)
Sorry for the long post.

The Expos left for a bunch of reasons....
For one, they were the smallest market team in the league.

How were they the smallest market in the league? For market size they would have been a top 15 market putting them right in the middle of the pack.

EastVanMark Jul 29, 2011 6:37 AM

Would love to see the return of baseball to Montreal but certain things have to happen first in order for this to occur.

1) New Ballpark
2) Cost certainty (i.e. Salary Cap)
3) Move to the American League thereby assuring large crowds whenever Toronto, Boston, or New York came to town.

However, the cost of a ballpark & acquiring a team would mean an investment of $700 million or so (and that's being generous), making it an extremely expensive and unlikely proposition.

With that all being said, bring back "Nos Amours!!!"

flar Jul 29, 2011 12:34 PM

I'd love to see this, but I don't have much hope.

I do think a team could be more successful in Montreal now than the Expos were.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Ik37etS5tT...rter_expos.jpg
http://thediamondking.blogspot.com/2...some-love.html

theshark Jul 29, 2011 12:36 PM

soyont expositifs!!!

thurmas Jul 29, 2011 1:24 PM

I don't think it will work for the simple reason BASEBALL IS DEAD IN CANADA! Look at the jays they can only draw fans when the yankees or red sox come to town other than that no one shows. Look at minor league ball in Canada and in the past 15 years how many AAA clubs have left Canada ie:Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver. Then the expos themselves for their last 10 years had horrific attendance. People will point out the 94 strike but in 1996 the expos had a chance at the wildcard spot with a week to go and no one showed up their fans just were not that good. Montreal is habs town through and through and then a little bit for the alouettes but baseball is dead in Canada.No young people are watching or playing baseball in Canada anymore.

SHOFEAR Jul 29, 2011 1:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thurmas (Post 5362864)
I don't think it will work for the simple reason BASEBALL IS DEAD IN CANADA! Look at the jays they can only draw fans when the yankees or red sox come to town other than that no one shows. Look at minor league ball in Canada and in the past 15 years how many AAA clubs have left Canada ie:Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver. Then the expos themselves for their last 10 years had horrific attendance. People will point out the 94 strike but in 1996 the expos had a chance at the wildcard spot with a week to go and no one showed up their fans just were not that good. Montreal is habs town through and through and then a little bit for the alouettes but baseball is dead in Canada.No young people are watching or playing baseball in Canada anymore.

Edmonton was forced to sell because once Calgary and Vancouver folded it was deemed to expensive by the league to travel up here for just one series...thanks assholes....

SJTOKO Jul 29, 2011 3:23 PM

http://www.stadiumpage.com/blog/labatt1.jpg
http://www.taylornoakes.com/wp-conte...11/labatt3.jpg
http://www.ballparks.com/baseball/national/monbpk01.jpg

Highinthesky Jul 29, 2011 3:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thurmas (Post 5362864)
I don't think it will work for the simple reason BASEBALL IS DEAD IN CANADA! Look at the jays they can only draw fans when the yankees or red sox come to town other than that no one shows. Look at minor league ball in Canada and in the past 15 years how many AAA clubs have left Canada ie:Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver. Then the expos themselves for their last 10 years had horrific attendance. People will point out the 94 strike but in 1996 the expos had a chance at the wildcard spot with a week to go and no one showed up their fans just were not that good. Montreal is habs town through and through and then a little bit for the alouettes but baseball is dead in Canada.No young people are watching or playing baseball in Canada anymore.

This is such a dumb post. First I've been to four games so far, none of them being against the Yanks or Red Sox, and the lowest attedance was mid 20,000s. Three years ago in 2008 they averaged nearly 30,000 for the season. On top of that Jays games on TV have been averaging nearly 500,000 viewers a game with many games reaching into the mid to high 600,000. If baseball was dead half a million people wouldn't watch it on TV. Finally the number of Canadians in the show is at all time highs and the number of Canadians in the minors and being drafted is also at all time highs provign that your statement about no one playing is just wrong. In conclusion you really don't have a clue what you're talking about.

Here is to hoping Montreal gets a team.

Everyday Jul 29, 2011 3:56 PM

Those renders of the new stadium are beyond sick

Acajack Jul 29, 2011 4:06 PM

I don't know if baseball is dead in Canada overall but in Quebec (where I live) and Montreal (which is two hours away), I almost never hear people talking Major League Baseball.

At barbecues, over the water cooler, on public transit, etc. Never.

I am in the prime MLB demographic and none of my friends follow baseball. They follow hockey, soccer, Formula 1, NFL/CFL, tennis, Tour de France, etc., but not MLB.


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