Deal reached on site for Montreal baseball stadium

Groupe de Montréal, an entity seeking to return a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise to the Canadian city, have reached an agreement for a plot of land on which it is seeking to build a stadium.

The deal for the land in the Peel Basin (pictured) area of Montreal has been reached by the Stephen Bronfman-owned Claridge Investments and real estate development firm Devimco. Bronfman, who leads Groupe de Montréal, has said Devimco would be responsible for the purchase of the land and will partner with his company to develop the 950,000-square-foot site.

The project is still at an early stage, with no clear indications on a timeline or the vision for a stadium. The land is currently owned by Canada Lands Company. “Things could happen very quickly, that’s what Major League Baseball has always told us,” Bronfman said, according to the Montreal Gazette newspaper.

“They said to be prepared because things can happen very quickly. It’s a tough position, I don’t do that much press because I don’t like treading down the same stories and I don’t like the idea of overly building hype because at the end of the day I’m not controlling the agenda. I’m trying my best to temper things but with a positive agenda.”

Bronfman’s father, Charles, initially brought an MLB team to Montreal in 1969. However, the Expos were dissolved in 2004 when the franchise relocated to Washington, D.C. and was rebranded as the Nationals.

Charles Bronfman ended his interest in the Expos in 1991 due to his unease over the financial situation of the sport. However, his son added: “I think the world has changed, the finances have changed, the world of baseball has changed, television has changed certainly.

“Media properties play a big role. You always need a media partner. It’s a package deal between smart real estate development, media partnerships and solid corporate support and fan support. It’s like a four-legged stool, it you get all those right, you got a good thing going.”

The now-defunct Expos played home games at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, which has a capacity of 56,000.

Image: hm.pix