The concept of knowledgeable sports activities crew calling two cities home at one time isn’t new, and it’s thrilling solely in its potential for chaos. The Rays, at the moment the Tampa Bay Rays, are the crew on the middle of the most recent multi-city quest, with Jeff Passan of ESPN reporting that Montreal is being explored as a shared choice for the franchise:
Below the plan, the Rays would play in new stadiums in each the Tampa Bay space and Montreal, in line with sources. The flexibility to play video games early within the season in Florida would preclude the necessity for a domed stadium, slicing the price of a brand new constructing.
However regardless that the exploration of such a transfer was permitted by MLB, there may be the matter of coping with the town of St. Petersburg, who doesn’t sound like a keen participant in such shenanigans.
St. Pete mayor Rick @Kriseman: “They (the Rays) do not have the right to explore a shared season prior to 2028. If that’s the direction they start to go, we’ll have to have those discussions between our legal teams.”
— Ryan Bass (@Ry_Bass) June 20, 2019
Extra feedback from Mayor @Kriseman , who’s adamantly towards this concept of a break up season. Are you able to hear the disdain?
“I believe this is getting a bit silly.”
“After 12 years of indecision… I am tired of the games that are being played related to getting a new stadium built.”
— Josh Solomon (@ByJoshSolomon) June 20, 2019
Though the concept is basically useless, it doesn’t imply we will’t give you a reputation.
The X-Rays is cool. Simply consider the cool, doubtlessly glow-in-the-dark uniform designs that would produce.
I’m keen on the Snowbirds, the nickname given to of us who flee the chilly winter months to hotter climates.
Possibly the Exorcists. The Rays already removed their unique Satan Rays identify, so this matches. And Montreal would get to heal from the demons who took baseball away from them in 2004.
What in regards to the Pucks? As a nod to an ideal hockey metropolis like Tampa, that has gained a Stanley Cup extra not too long ago than Montreal.
The Royal Tarpons could possibly be a mix homage to longtime minor league traditions in every metropolis. Jackie Robinson, amongst many others, performed for the Montreal Royals, whereas Johnny Bench and Pete Rose, for instance, performed for the Tampa Tarpons.
Why the Rays want to maneuver
Tropicana Subject is a foul stadium and are second-worst in MLB in attendance, averaging 14,546 followers per sport. The one cause Tampa isn’t useless final is as a result of the opposite Florida baseball crew — the Miami Marlins — has handled its fan base like a punching bag for years and marvel why no one reveals as much as their still-shiny seven-year-old stadium.
The Rays tried for a brand new stadium of their very own, going as far as to share renderings of a brand new park in Ybor Metropolis, a few half hour away from Tropicana Subject, which is positioned in St. Petersburg, final July.
Financing by no means received previous the planning phases, and on the 2018 winter conferences Rays proprietor Stu Sternberg introduced these stadium plans, initially set to open in 2023, have been scrapped, leaving the Rays at Tropicana Subject for the foreseeable future. Their lease on the stadium runs out in 2027.
Sternberg on Thursday confirmed his team’s dalliance with Montreal, saying, “My priority remains the same, I am committed to keeping baseball in Tampa Bay for generations to come. I believe this concept is worthy of serious exploration.”
As a result of nothing says “commitment” by working with one other metropolis to host at the least a few of your crew’s video games. That’s all this actually is, pitting two cities towards each other to see who finally wins out. The town that’s poutine its cash the place its mouth is will finally get the crew, who’s simply trying to Rays income. That’s how this all the time goes.
This isn’t new
Montreal has been via this two-city factor earlier than. MLB purchased the Expos and had them break up their time between Montreal and San Juan, Puerto Rico, enjoying 43 of 161 home video games (26.7%) at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in 2003-04. The crew averaged solely 11,026 followers over these two years, useless final in MLB, earlier than the franchise was relocated to Washington D.C. for the 2005 season and renamed the Nationals.
The Hornets shared New Orleans with Oklahoma Metropolis for 2 seasons from 2005-07, gauging the latter for NBA feasibility. New Orleans received to maintain its crew, however there was nonetheless a sufferer metropolis. There all the time is. Seattle received kicked on the crotch this time, attending to briefly glimpse Kevin Durant earlier than the Sonics moved to OKC in 2009 and have become the Thunder.
Tampa Bay is sure to be the eventual sufferer within the Rays scenario. Each try at a brand new stadium has fallen via, so why on Earth would they comply with construct a brand new stadium, solely to share it with one other metropolis?
Montreal’s motivation is far clearer. They have been a significant league metropolis for 36 seasons, and had their finest season (1994) worn out by a strike that canceled the World Sequence. They’ve had no baseball for a decade and a half, and are determined for something they’ll get.
There are far too many issues with a two-city crew, however that doesn’t imply we will’t root for chaos. What would fan curiosity be like in cities which might be solely half dedicated to by the crew? Simply think about the logistical nightmares for gamers, needing to search out houses in two completely different cities.
Do the Rays break up holidays too, splitting Thanksgiving weekend to Tampa Bay on Thursday and Montreal on Friday?
Such a transfer wouldn’t occur straight away anyway. In any case, these new stadiums nonetheless have to be constructed, in the event that they even are in any respect. Fortunately the house owners conferences are this week in New York, so commissioner Rob Manfred was prepared with a touch upon Thursday.
Manfred on the Rays: “In 2020, it’s pretty darn clear they’ll be playing in Tampa.”
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) June 20, 2019
As a lot because it could be cool and unusual to see a nomad crew break up time with two cities, don’t wager on that taking place. This can be a bidding warfare, and the town that financially entices the Rays probably the most would be the one which receives its companies. No half measures right here.