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No I'm not Regis Philbin, but let's play anyway. We start off with this gem out of Tampa.

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/10/25/report-rays-owner-stuart-sternberg-has-discussed-moving-the-team-to-montreal/

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Montreal has been frequently debated on this community on whether it's a good market or not, and it seems many of the people who I believe understand sports business and demographics better than I tend to lean towards the side of Montreal is no longer a viable market.

Besides Montreal, where else would they go? Portland and San Antonio have also been talked about on here but they don't seem interested enough in a new stadium. While the Tampa Bay area, or at least St. Petersburg is definitely not very viable there is not enough great markets that seem to work, and folding is just an awful idea in itself.

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Montreal has been frequently debated on this community on whether it's a good market or not,

True. But what we can no longer deny is that Tampa Bay is a lousy market.

They've had good teams, young teams, a pennant-winning team, a team in first place every single day of the season, and yet nobody comes to games. It's a real shame.

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Montreal has been frequently debated on this community on whether it's a good market or not,

True. But what we can no longer deny is that Tampa Bay is a lousy market.

They've had good teams, young teams, a pennant-winning team, a team in first place every single day of the season, and yet nobody comes to games. It's a real shame.

I don't disagree with that. Where do you propose they go then?

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I say the Rays move to Charlotte or Montreal as my top 2 picks.

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Montreal is about the best possible option for them. Portland might be a dark horse, although MLS might be sucking all the air out of the room.

The lack of a slam-dunk alternative has contributed to the Rays staying in Tampa Bay as long as they have. But that's only sustainable for so long.

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Agreed that Montreal is the best option right now...though I am slightly surprised that, since Portland has been stalling, Vancouver hasn't even put a single ballpark proposal forward.

Cascadia has three AMAZING cities, and yet every major league (except MLS and if you count the NFL and CFL together) only has one team in that region right now...

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Vancouver just spent a lot of money on refurbishing BC Place. That's why they are out.

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Vancouver just spent a lot of money on refurbishing BC Place. That's why they are out.

Somehow, soon as I saw you replied to the topic, I knew it'd be a rebuttal...been the same since OSC, I see.

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Obviously there would be territorial issues, but I really think that if Comcast and the Phillies hadn't just gotten together and signed a mega deal that gives the Pillies equity in CSN, that Philadelphia would be a great market for a second team in a mostly privately financed stadium (which Comcast could pull off). It would make a lot of sense for them too, as the team would have had its own RSN, and they could also have still worked with the Phillies on one of their other networks. There's been enough frustration with the Phillies organization over the years that I think a second team could develop a fan base quickly - especially if they're good - and comcast has the resources to at least try to make them good.

Phila is a larger TV market than the Bay Area which has two teams (though maybe it shouldn't), and easily has the population base to support a second club. Obviously territorial rights and the Comcast deal would make this a non-starter (though I'm not sure if the Phillies got exclusive rights after the A's moved or not), but I think that all things being equal, a second Phila team could work better than most of the other cities that are being tossed around here.

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The deminished Anglo population in Montreal compared to what it was when the Expos started up is going to really hurt any team that sets up shop there.

Not that French Canadians can't like baseball. It's just that, traditionally, it's seen as an Anglo sport. The Expos' fanbase was mostly drawn from the city's English speaking population, and that's a shell of its former self.

Montreal may be the best option, but that doesn't make it a good option.

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Demographically speaking, Montreal is done. Done like steak, presumably one cooked with a delicious Eastern European spice blend. But the loss of the NHL on TSN creates an opening, albeit a tiny one, for Montreal baseball. They're hurting for content. A new Expos team would give TSN and RDS 150+ days of new national content over six months when there's nothing else for them to show but a handful of CFL games. The costs to CTVBell would be sky-high, as there's no way in hell a new team could use the wretched Stade Olympique, and so they'd have to go through the bureaucratic taffy pull of building a new ballpark in a city and province that aren't known for facilitating big projects. But if they can re-sell the game of baseball to a populace that not only lost its team but went through nearly a decade of Major League Baseball trying to tell them "we do not want to conduct business with you," it could be worth it for them to go toe-to-toe coast-to-coast with Rogers and the Blue Jays.

I would prefer that this not happen. Let this sleeping dog lie. Like I said, between French-Canadians telling anglophone Quebecers to go screw themselves and organized baseball going out of its way to tell Quebec to go screw itself, it was a highly acrimonious divorce for everyone. I'd also like any Montreal team to be in the National League, and this certainly would not be the case so as to keep the asinine 15-15 split and create a rivalry with Toronto. But Bell and Rogers basically hold a duopoly on all consumer telecommunications in Canada, and sports telecasting seems to be the only way anyone can get any money out of the dying star that is live television. If they decide bringing back the Expos to fill TV time is a worthy pursuit, they're gonna do it.

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This thread talks about the Rays like they're the Coyotes... I know their attendance and stadium stink, but isn't their lease fairly ironclad? Are they an actual threat to move before 2027?

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I don't see Portland getting a team. We're talking about the city that chose MLS over AAA baseball. That's a huge strike (no pun intended) against them in MLB's eyes. And I don't really see Montreal getting a team either, as the Stade Olympique was in rough shape 10 years ago, and in even worse shape now. It looked like absolute hell on TV when the Jays and Mets played their two games there earlier this year. Then there's the whole issue of the Anglophone population being pretty much gone, which was part of the demise of the Expos.

I could possibly see Orlando being a destination for the Rays, but I don't know. It can't be worse than Tampa, that's for sure.

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They are more likely to move to Tampa, but the fact is this is being used as leverage but there really is no place for them to go at the moment.

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The real problem is stadiums.

Charlotte's is minor league capacity.

Montreal's is old.

Most of the other locations don't even have a working venue.

Unless huge renovations go up, there's not much of a point to talk about this just yet.

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Well, Buffalo's park was built to be expanded to major league capacity....

(True, but joking)

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I can't see any municipality paying up to build a baseball stadium. I'm biased by my own interests, but baseball feels like a dying sport to me, and the requirements of a baseball stadium are so specific.

In 2014, post-recession and post-Tea Party, I can't see any new stadium (legitimately) getting by without having some sort of dual purpose, whether it's soccer/football, NCAA/NFL, or something else. Funny enough, the Atlanta market offers two extremes -- the new football stadium will hold MLS and NFL, while the Braves' new stadium had to be approved behind closed doors.

Like BBTV, I think the best option for Rays relocation is doubling up a market. If that's Philadelphia, so be it. Maybe Boston or Dallas could work too. I do think MLB pretty well scorched the earth behind them in Montreal, so maybe they just put that on their list and cross it off.

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