The Tampa Bay Rays laid out plans for a new stadium — which include playing half their home games in Montreal.
The unique arrangement would require new stadiums in both cities.
Last week, team president Brian Auld presented a proposal to local officials and community members in which the team and city would split the cost of a $700 million stadium.
- The Rays’ current lease at Tropicana Field runs until 2027.
- Auld’s pitch for the “sister cities” concept centers on the idea that both cities would struggle to support a full-time team, but that stadiums intended for fewer games per season could be built more cheaply.
- The Rays were one of only three teams to average fewer than 10,000 fans at home games in 2021, despite winning more regular-season games than all but two teams and making it to the World Series the previous year.
Local officials have expressed skepticism about investing in a part-time team, but Auld has argued that the alternative is losing the Rays entirely.
“One billion is not a cost that this community can reasonably spend,” he said, referring to the sort of local investment that would be required to keep the Rays solely in the Tampa area.
He added that Montreal officials are open to the idea. The city has not had an MLB team since the Expos left for Washington, D.C., in 2005.