Montreal’s public consultation office — an organization set up to oversee public input into city decisions independent of local elected officials — has declined to rule on plans for a new baseball stadium at Peel Basin, writing that “it would be irresponsible to decide on this project on the basis of the partial information available to it.” And Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante appears to agree:
Speaking to reporters after a press conference, Mayor Valérie Plante said the stadium’s promoters should pay heed to the OCPM’s recommendations and confirmed that Montrealers would be consulted if and when a definite proposal is submitted to the city.
“They should take that report and read it very carefully,” she said, noting that the consultations showed opinions are sharply divided over the proposed stadium.
“I think it would be positive for Montreal to have a baseball team back. I think it would be great … but then the question is about how will it be financed, where it will be located and how it will integrate with the territory,” she said.
The OCPM report added, “No plan, nor any study measuring economic, social and environmental impacts have been brought to the attention of the commission.”
This is obviously a setback for Stephen Bronfman’s plans for a new baseball stadium, either for a Tampontreal Ex-Rays shared franchise or for a straight-up expansion team, but a reasonable one, given that so far Bronfman has only revealed that the stadium and mixed-use development around it would cost $2.5 billion, with no details about how it would be paid for, what the federal government would get for its land that the project would be built on, or any other financial specifics. But it would also be “green”! People like green, right?
The OCPM also noted that the project is “very controversial,” with more than half of respondents in an “online consultation” opposed to a baseball stadium. Mayor Plante added (per Google Translate), “There is no plan, no outline, nothing. I did not see anything. I don’t have a tangible project, it’s very difficult for me to decide. We expect to see impact and financial studies.”
The report doesn’t appear to be translated into English yet, is too large for Google Translate, and I can only speak bad high school French, so any further analysis will need to await more reporting in the Googleable media. Bronfman issued a press statement yesterday saying only, “The Montreal Baseball Group (MBG) will carefully review the report and will have no further comment at this time.”