A Billboard By The Tampa Bay Rays Florida Home Says Montreal 'Won't Pay' For Their Stadium

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."