Developer unveils renderings of new Montreal baseball site, fails to include baseball stadium

When last we checked in on the Tampontreal Ex-Rays plans back in March, would-be Tampa Bay Rays co-owner Stephen Bronfman was focused on a new stadium in Peel Basin that would allow the Rays to play half their home games in Montreal. And now the Peel Basin developer has finally unveiled renderings of its proposed project, and it looks like this:

There’s … no baseball stadium. Unless maybe it’s hiding in the unearthly glow from those apartment buildings? Nope, pretty sure no stadium there.

But that doesn’t mean there couldn’t be a stadium there, Devimco president Serge Goulet told the Canadian Press. He’s still “discussing” the possibility with Bronfman & Co., while also waiting to see if he can get hold of more public land:

In an article published in November 2019, La Presse reported that Claridge and Devimco had sights on some 440,000 square feet belonging to Loto-Québec in the area.

For Goulet, the lands are not necessary for the development of the district as he understands it, “but if a stadium project were added, it would be good to have more surface area.”

Loto-Québec is the public company that runs the province’s lottery, so Goulet is at least hinting that if local officials want a baseball team, they’ll need to turn over some more public land, presumably at a price he’s happy with. Devimco is also squabbling with the city over “accountability rules” regarding the development, as well as adding a light rail station near Peel Basin. (Goulet has offered to pay $25 million toward one, but his lengthy press release avoids mentioning what the total cost would be.) There is a whole lot still to be negotiated here, in other words, before anyone can even start thinking about how much a baseball stadium would cost or how it would be paid for or whether a team playing home games in two different countries even makes any sense.

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10 comments on “Developer unveils renderings of new Montreal baseball site, fails to include baseball stadium

  1. I starting to think the whole Tampa Montreal thingy is just to get 2 big tv contacts. The teams will play at the trop and the big o and no new stadium will be built. Maybe they do an el cheapo stadium at Ybor city with the rowdies but they just want the tv markets.

  2. Not sure any of us can accurately guess what this is about. The split market idea is a non starter (Bills in Toronto anyone? How about Packers at County Stadium in Milwaukee?).

    Even if they do get two tv contracts, the sum of the two will not be double what either market could support itself. It may not even be more than one of the two markets could generate (you are never just adding new fans, you always lose some if you take games away).

    It really only makes sense as an extortion stadium play, though even at that it suggests that Sternberg doesn’t feel he has been able to make Tampa pols worry enough that he is serious about leaving.

    Does this suggest that the best thing a city council/county govt can do is ignore professional sports owners who start sabre rattling for tax dollars???

    1. The pols aren’t worried because its one of the largest TV markets and MLB ain’t going to give it up. The pols know that…….And a new ballpark does nada for their attendance problems. Its the land where $30K a year is good money. I’m still looking for the modern day Mayor Williams. I can’t find him in Nashville, etc, etc

    2. I think the spilt city idea is silly but Bills in Toronto is not a good comparison. They were trying to sell seats in Toronto for more than twice what they cost in Buffalo. So if you’re a Bills fan in Toronto you can just drive 2 hours to Buffalo for a game and see the same team. Also, contrary to popular opinion Toronto is not an all-Bills town. I would say maybe 40% of NFL fans in Toronto are Bills fans. There are several NFL teams within driving distance of Toronto so you weren’t going to get the novelty effect like say NFL games in London do.

      1. They were trying to sell tickets to a team that was “not Toronto’s”, is the refrain I heard most from the people who thought it would work who found it didn’t work. The Rogers folks (who funded the entire scheme – effectively purchasing the home games from Ralph Wilson) thought they could sweep in, vacuum up vast sums of money and prove that Toronto was aching for an NFL team. They ended up with egg on their faces and, while they may not have actually lost money, they did not make anything like what they thought they might.

        The price is largely irrelevant. Leafs fans can fly to Florida or any number of other east/midwest destinations and watch their team for 20-30% of the cost of watching them at home (some destinations they would save money even including the cost of the trip), yet fans still go the former ACC.

        On the other hand, if it were about money, fans could watch the Argonauts (or Sabres) for a full season for not much more than a couple of Bills games would have cost them… yet they don’t in large numbers.

        Fanbases don’t adopt non-resident teams. They might show up for a one off on occasion (a bit like a summer tour featuring Madrid, Man City or Barcelona), but they will never adopt the team as their own.

      2. Not to mention that the experience of going to a game in Toronto is inferior. You can’t really tailgate and jump onto tables in a parking garage.

    3. Actually John, the Packers did play half their home games in Milwaukee’s County Stadium; at least during the Lombardi years.

  3. Clearly they will build just one stadium, at twice the cost of a regular stadium, that they can bring with them when they move cities. Play in Tampa, go on a road trip while the stadium drives up the 95, play in Montreal. Rinse and repeat.

  4. What about a stadium in the “autonomous zone” in Portland? You could hire ANTIFA Commrade’s to sweep the infield during 7th inning stretch.

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