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Sacré bleu!

It's been discussed quite a bit, so I thought it was appropriate to have a thread about it (unless I missed it in a search) - can baseball work in Montréal? Throw in your opinions on "The O", the season that wasn't, those gorgeous 1993-2004 uniforms, any potential ownership, and the viability of a traditional American sport with the Francophone crowd.

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I honestly think that if a miracle happens and Montreal gets another team, they could use Olympic Stadium for at least a year or two while a stadium is being built. I was a Montreal fan as a kid and I wear my Montreal hat a lot and you can't believe how many people have told me how much they miss the Expos. They had, in my opinion, one of the strongest identities in all of the major league sports. The team was screwed over by the owners poor will to put a competitive team on the field and as a result, the talks of contraction and relocation scared fans away. It's just sad to look back and wonder what if the 1994 season didn't end early and the Expos made the playoffs. We probably wouldn't be talking about this subject, instead talking about getting baseball back in Washington, D.C. I know that there is a 1% chance that the Major Leagues will return to Montreal but the city deserves a baseball team. Whether it's a AAA or a AA team, the city needs baseball back someway, somehow. There is too much history there.

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I think it can indeed work. If only they had ponied up for Labatt Park.

labatt_scan2.jpg

labatt3.JPG

Would've been beautiful, and I've no doubt they could have competed there.

If they do get a new team, I hope they don't make the Nationals' mistake of using a terrible old cap logo. Time to start fresh.

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Meanwhile that wouldn't be one of the 20 craziest things Loria ever did so...

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Montreal is closer to New York, if the Mets cant find a better AAA place Montreal would be a good pick.

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The Expos relied heavily on an English-speaking population that isn't there anymore, and the Commissioner's office went out of its way to effectively tell the fans left that they weren't welcome. It's dead, Jim.

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I went to Montreal last month for the first time and absolutely fell in love with the city, culture, etc. Although it's dominated by Habs apparel, I was quite surprised to see so much Expos stuff, both being worn and sold. I picked up a nice New Era fitted at Winners for $14.99.

I went to Olympique Stadium and it is absolutely massive. It was falling apart fifteen years ago though so it's obsolete as far as a playing field. A downtown park would've been nice but I guess it just wasn't do-able.

As far as demographically, it's a large city with the median income on the higher end of the spectrum, with an affinity for sports. I found there to be a lot more Anglophones than I expected. I'd say 50-50. I don't speak a word of French and never had a problem.

I think it could work sometime down the road, just not yet. The MLB has gone back to abandoned markets in the past and made it work.

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I found there to be a lot more Anglophones than I expected. I'd say 50-50. I don't speak a word of French and never had a problem.

Montreal has always been the centre of English Canadian culture in Quebec, and the Anglophone population is still greater there then it is elsewhere in the province. Problem is that Bill 101, passed in 1977, effectively started an Anglophone exodus to Toronto (and, to a lesser extent, Vancouver) that the city's English population has never really recovered from. You still have English neighbourhoods like Westmount and Hamstead, but the Anglophone presence on the island isn't what it was. And as admiral pointed out the Expos drew heavily from the English population of the city.

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Yeah, I think we need to distinguish between people who are capable of speaking English and people who are culturally anglophones.

And as for Bill 101, when you have the government bullying Jewish delis just for using apostrophes in their names, you have to wonder about the motivations.

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Baseball would absolutely still work in Montreal. The Expos still have strong support in the region, including a grassroots effort by fans to promote the return of baseball to Montreal as well as a similar group founded by former Expo Warren Cromartie. Montreal also has a long history as a baseball market that dates back to even before the Expos - after all, Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, and Roy Campanella among others played for the minor-league Montreal Royals.

The original Expos were killed in part due to greed on the part of the players' union and the MLB and also due to the incompetence of Jeff Loria and Omar Minaya, not because of a lack of fans. When the league pulls underhanded tricks such as moving most of the home games to San Juan and banning the team from making call-ups in September during a playoff race while publicly sabre-rattling for contraction, it's not hard to see why people stopped going to games by the end. Montreal deserves a second chance with a real franchise and real ownership, not the :censored:show of the Loria/Selig era.

I could definitely see the Rays moving to Montreal, considering owner Stuart Sternberg has admitted to considering it, while also being "pressed" by the league to do so, and now St. Petersburg's mayor has finally backed off on the outrageous lease that has kept the Rays mired in the outdated, dumpy Trop.

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If MLB ever returns to Montreal they need a new stadium and a longterm lease to assure fans they would be there to stay.

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Yeah, I think we need to distinguish between people who are capable of speaking English and people who are culturally anglophones.

And as for Bill 101, when you have the government bullying Jewish delis just for using apostrophes in their names, you have to wonder about the motivations.

The Jewish Anglophone base for the Expos was huge, I can attest to that. And that base has probably been depleted on the island more so then the Christian Anglophone base. Visser loi 101 <_< Seriously. Visser it hard.

Baseball would absolutely still work in Montreal. The Expos still have strong support in the region, including a grassroots effort by fans to promote the return of baseball to Montreal as well as a similar group founded by former Expo Warren Cromartie. Montreal also has a long history as a baseball market that dates back to even before the Expos - after all, Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, and Roy Campanella among others played for the minor-league Montreal Royals.

The original Expos were killed in part due to greed on the part of the players' union and the MLB and also due to the incompetence of Jeff Loria and Omar Minaya, not because of a lack of fans. When the league pulls underhanded tricks such as moving most of the home games to San Juan and banning the team from making call-ups in September during a playoff race while publicly sabre-rattling for contraction, it's not hard to see why people stopped going to games by the end. Montreal deserves a second chance with a real franchise and real ownership, not the :censored:show of the Loria/Selig era.

I could definitely see the Rays moving to Montreal, considering owner Stuart Sternberg has admitted to considering it, while also being "pressed" by the league to do so, and now St. Petersburg's mayor has finally backed off on the outrageous lease that has kept the Rays mired in the outdated, dumpy Trop.

And the Royals were, like the Expos, primarily a team that catered to the city's then significant English population. I'm not saying that French Canadians don't like baseball, just that the Expos were, during their time in the city, primarily supported by a demographic that's shrunken consistently since the late 1970s. Maybe the Expos leaving was a wake-up call to the city's French population that spurred latent interest in the team, it's entirely possible. Though it seems that American football (well Canadian football at any rate) is the American import French Canadians have taken to, if the support for the Als and university football programs across the province are any indication.

Regardless MLB returning to the city's going to be a tough sell when the demographic that supported the first team is a shell of its former self.

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Isn't soccer pretty much Montreal's second sport thanks to the allophone population?

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Regardless MLB returning to the city's going to be a tough sell when the demographic that supported the first team is a shell of its former self.

There is still a tougher sell if a team came back...Free Agents.

Best case scenario for Montreal is that they would be as competitive as Oakland. Worst case scenario, they are like Pittsburgh and Kansas City for the last 20 seasons. The franchise would have to place emphasis on Latin American academies more than ever and a farm system which consistently developed talent which they could keep.

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Isn't soccer pretty much Montreal's second sport thanks to the allophone population?

It is. I meant football as the American sport the French Canadian population taken to.

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But there has to be a Stadium in place . Montreal is a foot-traffic first city (I know this because I got two tickets driving there, lol) with a very efficient public transit system. I found it (as far as pedestrians go) almost like a mini-NYC. I think Olympic Stadium is in a bad location as well, and it would have to be downtown somewhere.

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And that's the second problem. Your chances to get a stadium built that's at least partially financed are better in Toronto. And Toronto isn't building a new stadium any time soon.

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For three straight years when I was a kid my little league team was the Expos so I've always had a soft spot for the Spos, but I don't think baseball can go back to Montreal at the major league level with the damage that's been done.

Somebody should try with a minor league team though.

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