Showing posts with label Canada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Canada. Show all posts

Monday, July 11, 2011

Will MLB’s Montreal Expos be Reborn?

Canada’s first love affair with a MLB baseball franchise took place long before the Toronto Blue Jays were born and won two World Series. Back in 1969 the Montreal Expos were the pride and joy of the nation and for many, they remained Canada’s team until packing up and heading down to Washington DC in 2004 where they were renamed the Nationals.

There’s been some talk recently north of the border about bringing Major League Baseball back to Montreal, but unfortunately it doesn’t appear to be in the cards anytime soon. According to a new report that was released by the Conference Board of Canada, it’s unlikely the city will bid for a franchise because there’s too wide of an economic gap between teams and it results in an unlevel playing field.

Montreal has a long history when it comes to pro baseball since it’s where Jackie Robinson finally broke down its color barrier and it was the first non-American city to have a MLB team. In 1981 the Expos became the first Canadian team to reach the playoffs and they had the best record in MLB in 1994 when the season was canceled half way through it.

But a decade later the Expos were gone, mainly due to a weak Canadian dollar and low revenue. MLB bought them out and offered the franchise to Washington. However, things have changed over the last seven years and the Canadian dollar is now stronger than the U.S. greenback. The city’s metro area also has a population of about 3.8 million, which is the second largest in Canada, and according to league rules, only 2.5 million is needed to support an MLB team. Another bonus, is the city has a large corporate presence with about 100 of the nation’s largest businesses being based there.

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