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savafan
07-08-2011, 03:00 PM
http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/July2011/08/c4230.html


OTTAWA, July 8, 2011 /CNW/ - Montreal has the necessary market conditions in place today to be the home of a Major League Baseball franchise: it is both large enough and wealthy enough, and it has a sound corporate presence. In addition, the strong Canadian dollar would make a Major League Baseball team more competitive with U.S. franchises in contrast to the weaker loonie that prevailed when the Montreal Expos departed for Washington in 2004.

But Major League Baseball (MLB) has the least level-playing field of the major North American professional sports leagues, which makes the long-term prospects suspect for any franchise to be successful in Montreal, according to The Future of Major League Baseball in Canada (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/reports/briefings/bigLeagues/briefing-6.aspx), The Conference Board of Canada's latest briefing in its Playing in the Big Leagues series.

More:

http://montreal.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110708/mtl_baseball_110708/20110708/?hub=MontrealHome

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/baseball/story/2011/07/08/sp-mlb-expos.html

bucksfan2
07-08-2011, 03:05 PM
League competitive conditions, however, have changed little since the Expos' demise. Previous publications in this Conference Board series, Competitive Conditions in Pro Sports Leagues and Pro League Competitive Conditions and How the NHL Stacks Up have concluded that the playing field in Major League Baseball is the least-level of the four major North American sports. The lack of a hard cap on player salaries and massive differences in revenue (including attendance, sale of broadcasting rights, merchandise and other income) among franchises make consistent winning very difficult for all but a handful of rich teams.

You don't say!

KronoRed
07-08-2011, 03:36 PM
They also have a stadium that makes the Tropicana dome look like a palace.

CySeymour
07-08-2011, 03:40 PM
Didn't the Expos also have major attendance problems?

savafan
07-08-2011, 03:51 PM
Didn't the Expos also have major attendance problems?

I can't say for certain, but I think that only started after the 1994 strike.

klw
07-08-2011, 04:04 PM
I went to a midseason game at the big-O which was sold out. It was versus the Dodgers and the atmosphere was electric. The Expos were in first and didn't have a problem drawing. After the strike, they started selling off players. Attendance dropped. More sell offs. Loria came on and killed whatever love there was of the franchise. It was still a great place to see a game. Almost all 600 people that were there were young kids having a fun night. You could drive up, park under the stadium for $6, buy a bleacher seat for $4 and then move pretty much anywhere in the stadium except for the first few rows around the plate. If you wanted to sit right behind the dugouts you could shell out $25 and sit a couple rows back in an assigned seat. You could use American money and they would give you canadian dollars back. I remember once a friend I was with went for a beer and came back all happy. He said "I gave them $20 American and they gave me this beer, this huge hot dog, and $24 back!" you had to love that exchange rate. I miss not being able to get up to games. Now the closest team is Boston which is 3+ hours drive, then the T for 1/2 hour. The cheapest seat would still be more expensive than my whole day in Montreal.

Chip R
07-08-2011, 04:05 PM
I can't say for certain, but I think that only started after the 1994 strike.

With the exception of a few years they were never a huge draw.

Slyder
07-08-2011, 04:34 PM
Jeffrey Loria killed baseball in Montreal when he went cheap and begged baseball for a bailout (the Florida Marlins).

RedsManRick
07-08-2011, 04:55 PM
Jeffrey Loria killed baseball in Montreal when he went cheap and begged baseball for a bailout (the Florida Marlins).

And when he decided that the best way to fix the lack of money for a new stadium was to tell fans not to attend games. And thought the cure for low attendance was to take the games off of TV.

KronoRed
07-08-2011, 06:41 PM
I can't say for certain, but I think that only started after the 1994 strike.

They drew well in the early 80's but even a 94 win season in 93 ranked them 13th in the NL.
http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/WSN/attend.shtml.

Loria definatly delivered the killing blow but they were in trouble for a long time before, I blame a terrible Mascot.

cincinnati chili
07-09-2011, 01:34 AM
Baseball easily could have been viable in Montreal with better ownership, some better luck, and if Selig would have allowed an ownership group to privately finance a stadium (as happened in in San Francisco, much to his dismay). I realize Montreal is a hockey town but it has a huge metro area of 4 million people, plenty of whom would be willing to support a baseball team not run by carpetbaggers. It's also a great place to be outside in the summer time so an open air or retractable dome location is a must.

redsmetz
07-09-2011, 06:28 PM
Is the title to the thread a bit of a misnomer? It seems from the excerpt shown that those studying returning baseball to Montreal are suggesting that a future team would struggle with baseball as it is presently structured. Am I misunderstanding the gist of it?

savafan
01-13-2014, 09:27 PM
http://montrealbaseballproject.com.ismmedia.com/ISM3/std-content/repos/Top/2012%20website/Blog/Study_EN.pdf


Feasibility study says Montreal is a viable Major League Baseball market

The Tampa Bay Rays went 92-71, clinched a wild card playoff spot, and finished dead last in baseball in home attendance: http://espn.go.com/mlb/attendance

If you move the Rays to Montreal, create a northeast rivalry with the Yankees and Red Sox, as well as an inter-Canada rivalry with the Blue Jays, and watch the team become one of the best and most profitable in baseball. Seems to make sense.

BluegrassRedleg
01-13-2014, 09:31 PM
I thought Montreal fans pretty much said "Screw baseball" for eternity after the strike robbed them of an amazing season. I feel like that team would have had a great chance to win it all.

KronoRed
01-13-2014, 09:39 PM
Montreal didn't support their team either with the exception of a 5 year period out of 35, it's not all Bud and Loria's fault they cratered.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1137080/index.htm

KronoRed
01-13-2014, 09:39 PM
Move the Jays to the New York area to create some real rivalries ;)

harangatang
01-13-2014, 09:43 PM
Baseball in Montreal is like hockey in Atlanta. The population in the metro area is sufficient to support a team, but the demographic isn't correct.

cincinnati chili
01-14-2014, 06:31 AM
Montreal didn't support their team either with the exception of a 5 year period out of 35, it's not all Bud and Loria's fault they cratered.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1137080/index.htm

But in that five-year period, they were either second, third, or fourth in NL attendance every year. By comparison, the Reds haven't finished fourth in attendance since 1992. They haven't had a 5-year period finishing in the top 4 every year since the 1970s. Washington finished 6th in attendance last year after finishing in the bottom half seven of their first eight years. Tampa has finished in the bottom half every year except their first year, including finishing 9th out of 14 one year after making the world series. THAT would never have happened in Montreal.

By far, the he biggest problem in Montreal was spelled L-O-R-I-A. We have 12+ years of data in Miami to drive that point home: http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/FLA/attend.shtml

With decent ownership in Montreal, I think the comp you're likely to see is this one: http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIN/attend.shtml

With exceptional ownership, the sky is the limit. For example: http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/SEA/attend.shtml

Some of us have forgotten how close teams in San Francisco, and to a lesser extent Seattle, came to moving a couple decades ago. It seems absurd in retrospect that markets so large teetered on the verge of losing their teams. It's amazing what a little competence and good luck can provide.

Yachtzee
01-14-2014, 09:31 AM
But in that five-year period, they were either second, third, or fourth in NL attendance every year. By comparison, the Reds haven't finished fourth in attendance since 1992. They haven't had a 5-year period finishing in the top 4 every year since the 1970s. Washington finished 6th in attendance last year after finishing in the bottom half seven of their first eight years. Tampa has finished in the bottom half every year except their first year, including finishing 9th out of 14 one year after making the world series. THAT would never have happened in Montreal.

By far, the he biggest problem in Montreal was spelled L-O-R-I-A. We have 12+ years of data in Miami to drive that point home: http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/FLA/attend.shtml

With decent ownership in Montreal, I think the comp you're likely to see is this one: http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIN/attend.shtml

With exceptional ownership, the sky is the limit. For example: http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/SEA/attend.shtml

Some of us have forgotten how close teams in San Francisco, and to a lesser extent Seattle, came to moving a couple decades ago. It seems absurd in retrospect that markets so large teetered on the verge of losing their teams. It's amazing what a little competence and good luck can provide.

Cleveland and the Chicago White Sox were also candidates to move to St. Petersburg before new stadiums and expansion came along. And weren't the Reds once rumored to move to San Diego in the '60s. I think the difference is that, in those cases, MLB either took steps that encouraged the team to stay put or took a neutral stance. In Montreal's case, MLB actually took an active role in moving the team. They could have just as easily pushed Loria to sell the Expos.

I think the two factors that led to the downfall of the Expos (the 1994 strike hurt a lot of teams) were Loria and issues with the retractable roof at Olympic Stadium that lead to its permanent closure. With a supportive owner and a new stadium, I think the Expos could have been one of the more successful franchises in the league.

cumberlandreds
01-14-2014, 09:39 AM
If you win they will come. Bottom line the Expos didn't win after 1994. Loria was the big reason they didn't win as has been mentioned by others. Also that God-awful stadium had a huge effect. It was a cavern that had no soul or character to it. Montreal was so debt ridden by the 1976 Olympics it could never afford to build a proper stadium. I think a tax referendum did appear for the citizens one time for a stadium but it was defeated and that spelled the end of the Expos in Montreal. I have no idea why MLB didn't try to get an owner that would keep the team in Montreal? Maybe it was the stadium issue? But it seemed like MLB was bound and determined to move them by the late 90's. I'm glad they did as they moved to DC and I have been able to watch MLB in person and not have to drive and hour and half to Baltimore. I do think with the right parameters (Good ownership and stadium) Montreal would support a MLB team. Because when they had winning teams they drew very well.

Redsfaithful
01-14-2014, 12:28 PM
I would love to see Montreal with a team. A road trip to see the Reds there would be a lot of fun. Tampa Bay, eh, it's nice enough as a city but in the summer not really an attraction.

This has been my completely selfish take on the matter.

Chip R
01-14-2014, 01:04 PM
One thing you have to remember if you want to put a team in MON is that it's a hockey town like PIT is a Steelers town. That's not to say there aren't baseball fans there. MON always got dumped on for drawing poorly but I always thought the ones that came were great fans. MLB in MON is doable but nowdays you have to have a big TV deal to play with everyone else.

corkedbat
01-14-2014, 01:12 PM
Always wanted to see baseball go to 32 teams, have four 4-team mini-divisions in each league (much like the NFL) and no wildcards. Not sure MLB will ever expand again unless it somehow goes truly international at some point in the future.

cincinnati chili
01-15-2014, 01:01 AM
One thing you have to remember if you want to put a team in MON is that it's a hockey town like PIT is a Steelers town. That's not to say there aren't baseball fans there. MON always got dumped on for drawing poorly but I always thought the ones that came were great fans. MLB in MON is doable but nowdays you have to have a big TV deal to play with everyone else.

I think the owners of the Rangers are doing pretty well in a football town. Ditto, the Rockies. Hell, the Rockies don't even have to win games and they still draw. In a market that big, you can do fine if your ownership is competent and MLB allows a stadium to get built with private financing (because the city won't pay... goof for them).

One other factor that hurt the Expos and the Blue Jays in the late 1990s and early 2000s was the weak Canadian dollar. Not really a problem anymore.

cincinnati chili
01-15-2014, 01:03 AM
Always wanted to see baseball go to 32 teams, have four 4-team mini-divisions in each league (much like the NFL) and no wildcards. Not sure MLB will ever expand again unless it somehow goes truly international at some point in the future.

I'd love to see expansion. I'd do away with divisions though and play a balanced schedule in each league. No interleague either. Just put the best 'x' teams in each league in the postseason

Big Klu
01-15-2014, 02:08 AM
I'd love to see expansion. I'd do away with divisions though and play a balanced schedule in each league. No interleague either. Just put the best 'x' teams in each league in the postseason

If you play a completely balanced schedule, why do you need postseason? Whoever has the best record should win the league championship and go to the World Series.

gilpdawg
01-15-2014, 03:34 AM
I'd love to see expansion. I'd do away with divisions though and play a balanced schedule in each league. No interleague either. Just put the best 'x' teams in each league in the postseason

If there's expansion there will be another offensive explosion that everyone will blame on sports drugs.

cincinnati chili
01-20-2014, 11:05 PM
If you play a completely balanced schedule, why do you need postseason? Whoever has the best record should win the league championship and go to the World Series.

I'm all about trying to find a balance between what is the most fair and what is the best generator of revenue and fan interest. It was a LOT more fair pre-1969 when the best team in each league just went to the series. But it's just bad business to have 75% of your teams mathematically eliminated in August. So while I recognize that you need to have at least 4 teams in each league to get into to the post-season, I'd rather those teams at least be the best 4+ teams in their respective leagues. For example, I think it's a joke that so many "experts" regard the 2012 Angels season as a dismal failure when they were significantly better than the Tigers, who had a worse record in a worse division.

I also get sick of seeing the Reds playing the same teams over and over. I get totally sick of Red Sox/Yankees. Playing each team 10 or 11 games per year is enough. And no interleague.

cincinnati chili
01-20-2014, 11:07 PM
If there's expansion there will be another offensive explosion that everyone will blame on sports drugs.

I agree this will happen initially, but it will settled down in a couple years.