With some potential rumblings that Major League Baseball may be coming back to Montreal with the relocation of the Tampa Bay Rays we take a look back at the first ever game played by the Expos in 1969 at Jerry Park. Here is hoping the rumors are true and we can all celebrate "nos amours" once again.
Just how much is the return of major league baseball worth to Montrealers? Nothing — according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. The group has put up a giant billboard outside Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, warning that "Montréal won't pay for your new stadium."
The team has floated the idea of splitting its season between Florida and Quebec. The Rays president even announced — and then abruptly cancelled — plans to put up a new Montreal-Tampa graphic in their outfield.
The Taxpayers Federation has moved quickly to make its position clear, taking aim at businessman Stephen Bronfman's reported attempt to court Quebec lawmakers for public funds to construct a new field.
In a statement, the Federation's Quebec director, Renaud Brossard said "the Rays are welcome to play in Montreal, but Quebec taxpayers aren't going to pay for a new stadium."
"Quebec's economic recovery is fragile, our health-care system is struggling and this is the most heavily taxed jurisdiction in North America," he continued.
"Quebec taxpayers can't pay for another stadium for a part-time baseball team."
The Federation cited a poll by Léger for the Journal in which 60% of respondents said they were opposed to public investment in a new baseball stadium.
"Here's the reality," Brossard said, "a new ballpark ranks way below fixing roads, supporting hospitals and reducing the heavy tax burden on struggling families."
"For the postseason, we're gonna add a sign in the right-field foul territory with a very simple Tampa Bay-Montreal graphic," Silverman said.
"With the eyes of baseball on us this October, we want that visible symbol of our plan and our excitement for it."
Plans for a sister-city project with the Tampa Bay Rays have been in the works for quite some time. In 2019, the MLB reportedly granted permission to the Rays to possibly play some of their games in Montreal.
The sister-city plan will allow the team to play some games in Montreal while exploring the possibility of a new stadium, ESPN reported.
"We are making progress both here and in Montreal," Silverman added.
"I'm very encouraged by the conversations we're having. It's about a connection with Montreal. Montreal, to us, is the best city to partner with."
"With opening day today, excited to announce we’re bringing the Expos back to the MLB in 2022. Excited to be the first player/coach/owner in MLB history," reads his tweet.
"What!!!!!is this real life??? Oh man I'm a huge pats fan and thank you for the past 20 years and I was forced to become a Jays fan after the expos left...this is fkn awesome LFG!!!!" one person responded on Twitter.
What makes the joke less mean is that Brady almost pursued a career in baseball and was selected by the Expos in the 18th round of the 1995 MLB draft.