The Tampa Bay Rays ownership have started discussing a move to Montreal. I say started, because they won’t leave Tropicana Field until 2017, unless they want to pay Tampa some cash. I won’t be surprised if they go though. Historically, every time a team leaves a city without an MLB team since 60 years ago, another team has moved back in.
|1957||Dodgers & Giants leave NYC|
|1960||Senators leave Washington, DC|
|1961||MLB expands, new Senators in Washington, DC|
|1962||MLB expands, gives NYC the Mets|
|1966||Braves leave Milwaukee|
|1968||A’s leave Kansas City|
|1969||MLB expands into Kansas City|
|1970||Pilots leave Seattle, move to Milwaukee|
|1973||Rangers leave Washington, DC|
|1977||MLB expands, Mariners fill the Seattle slot|
|2005||Expos move from Montreal to Washington, DC|
It took Washington a while, but for a good 20 year period, this was normal for MLB. So, sooner or later, there will be a team in Montreal again. We just don’t know if it’ll be the Rays going there, or if it’ll be some other franchise playing in Montreal someday.
It seems it’d be pretty easy for the Rays to sell the move to enough owners, for a 75% vote. As of right now, I think the Blue Jays have territorial rights for all of Canada. They have to share some of Canada, but they still have rights throughout it. I doubt any other club would like to let the Blue Jays have that much possible revenue at their fingertips if there’s any chance to allow it or stop it, so it’d be in the best interest of baseball & every non-Toronto ownerships to slice some of that area off.
So I think right now, the rays are bringing the subject up to begin the discussion, since there’s only a couple more seasons before 2017. As the article points out, this might simply be a ploy to get Tampa to support the team more. Of course, if it doesn’t, then the Rays can walk away without a problem. I think the Rays really are interested in moving though.