Montreal’s public consultation office has requested more discussions on a proposed Major League Baseball stadium in the Canadian city.
Yesterday (Monday), the office issued a report on the consultation on the future of the city’s Bridge-Bonaventure sector and also provided an update on the MLB stadium proposal.
Last May, Groupe de Montréal, an entity seeking to return an MLB franchise to the city, 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 area of Montreal was reached by the Stephen Bronfman-owned Claridge Investments and real estate development firm Devimco.
The Tampa Bay Rays MLB team has expressed an interest in splitting its season between Florida and Montreal amid the franchise’s ongoing stadium issues. The Rays currently play at Tropicana Field and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has stated his intention to ensure the Rays honour their agreement to play at the stadium through the 2027 season.
In February, the Rays said a “meaningful step” was taken towards securing the future of the team in the region.
The Montreal group has proposed building the stadium on federally-owned land and has promised an eco-friendly project.
In a statement issued yesterday, Montreal’s public consultation office said: “The commission believes that the installation of a baseball stadium in the Bridge-Bonaventure sector should be the subject of an independent consultation and be analysed on the basis of a more developed project.”
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante has urged the stadium group to consider the office’s statement, while confirming that locals would be consulted should a final proposal be submitted to the city.
“They should take that report and read it very carefully,” Plante said, according to the Montreal Gazette newspaper. “I think it would be positive for Montreal to have a baseball team back. I think it would be great … but then the question is about how it will be financed, where it will be located and how it will integrate with the territory.”
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.