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The Jays and Mets to play two exhibition games in Montreal next spring

Sep 9, 2013, 2:43 PM EDT

Olympic Stadium

Shi Davidi reports that the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets will play two exhibition games in Olympic Stadium in Montreal next spring:

The contests, to be held right at the end of the pre-season, will bring big-league baseball back to the Big O for the first time since the Expos left for Washington after the 2004 season. Hosting games in Montreal makes sense under the Blue Jays’ strategy of building a country-wide fan-base.

And makes sense if they want to put the kibosh on the nascent “bring baseball back to Montreal” stuff we’ve been hearing lately. Which, no, I don’t think will  go anywhere any time soon, but if you’re the Jays you’re better off trying to claim as much territory as possible before that ball gets rolling so as to try and extract something from MLB if and when something happens.

As for Montreal: I’m curious as to how Olympic Stadium is doing these days.

  1. Old Gator - Sep 9, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    What, precisely, is the purpose of this bitterly ironic exercise, anyway?

    • cur68 - Sep 9, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      To make me cry, obviously.

      As fior the Big O: they better spray the damn thing down with shot-crete if they plan to keep it up right with people in it.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 9, 2013 at 3:20 PM

      Nothing more than throwing the city of Montreal and/or Expos fans a bone.
      And an exhibition game at that!

    • dundonald - Sep 9, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      See my post, it is Rogers throwing their “partner” Videotron a chewed up bone.

  2. kopy - Sep 9, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    If you can’t demolish it, they will come.

    • gothapotamus90210 - Sep 10, 2013 at 8:27 AM

      I’ve heard it would cost $75M to demolish it due to all the infrastructure in the area. Comparable domed stadiums have ran in the $10M ballpark (no pun intended). The argument against the prohibitive cost is the Boston Garden, which had similar infrastructure nearby, which cost about $20M, I believe.

  3. benwillisflash - Sep 9, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Its an awful pit of stadium. But I’ll be there because I want baseball here. I’d settle for Double A

    • jyoung1891 - Sep 9, 2013 at 3:47 PM

      Ironically, the Expo’s/Nats moved to a pit of a stadium (RFK, not the current one) when they moved to DC.

    • dundonald - Sep 9, 2013 at 3:51 PM

      I would love a AA club in Montreal, however where can they build a suitable stadium and who would pay for it?

  4. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 9, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    So, now what happens if the games sell out? Will that fuel the push for returning a team to Montreal? What happens if they only sell a few thousand tickets? Do we just brush that off as an exhibition thing and move on? I’m really very interested to see how this little experiment ends up.

    • dundonald - Sep 9, 2013 at 3:53 PM

      Games sell out! To fill the place it would have to be free admission with a free ticket to a Canadiens game.

  5. gothapotamus90210 - Sep 9, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    Not sure where the roof issue stands, but all of the news within the last few years has pointed to the current roof not being stable/safe. The article below says they are going to have a plan in place to replace current roof by end of 2013 – which could impact these exhibition games. I can’t see MLB wanting to play there with the current roof in place.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2013/04/13/montreal-olympic-stadium-roof-repairs.html

    • bolweevils2 - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:39 AM

      Jarry Park then. At the end of March, in Montreal. That would be fun.

      (Actually Wikipedia says Jarry Park has been converted to tennis courts now)

  6. thebadguyswon - Sep 9, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Awesome! I’m there.

  7. lyon810 - Sep 9, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    OUI!

  8. dundonald - Sep 9, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    Funny, the Olympic Installation Board, Quebec Govt. speak for the caretakers of the Big Owe, claim that it can no longer be reconfigured for baseball. Secondly, who in their right mind would pay money to see two gawd awful baseball clubs play a meaningless exhibition game. If the stadium can still be set up fore baseball, would the Jays risk the bad legs of SS Jose Rios on the carpet or oft injured Jose Bautista? The main reason for this is Rogers is in bed with Videotron. Videotron piggybacks on Rogers cell phone network and shows Jays games, in French on their Sports Channel. Good luck on drawing more than flies to this game.

    • bolweevils2 - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:48 AM

      Jose Rios?

      I’d be interested in going. Though, to be fair, this is the kind of thing that sounds like a great idea to attend when it’s 6 months away, but when the day comes you’re asking yourself “Do I really want to drive 6 hours round trip to see an exhibition game?”

      I wonder if Jose Vidro will have a big day. After all, historically he always has when I’ve gone to a game there.

  9. proudlycanadian - Sep 9, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    Craig’s bullshit premise regarding the reason for these games is a based on an ignorance of history. He does not know that the GM, AA is from Montreal and historically, the Jays and the Expos played exhibition games prior to the season. Too bad these games are not with the Nationals. It would be great if baseball returned to Montreal. A team there would have better attendance than Cleveland, Houston, Tampa Bay and Miami.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 9, 2013 at 4:02 PM

      Apologies to Craig. It was Shi Davidi who was the source of the premise that I objected to. Craig just picked up on it.

    • thebadguyswon - Sep 9, 2013 at 4:17 PM

      It makes me laugh how many former Expos fans in northern NY claim the Nationals as their team. The Nats don’t even acknowledge the Expos existence in their park. Why should it be Nats-Jays? Keep it Jays and Mets and enjoy it. The Washington Nationals are not the old Montreal Expos.

      And believe me, fans will show up for these games.

    • furryroadkill - Sep 9, 2013 at 6:52 PM

      PC-made my stomach turn when you mentioned Cleveland, but you’e 100% right. A team in the middle of Damascus would draw better than the Indians right now. They’ve been anywhere from 1-3 games out of the wildcard and could only draw a little over 50,000-FOR THE ENTIRE WEEKEND!! Dolan’s don’t spend money, no one shows up. The Dolan’s spend money, no one shows up…what a joke. They can be a little frustrating offensively, but you’re missing some pretty impressive pitching and a team with a good chance of making the playoffs. Where are all the front runners??? Blaaahhhh….

    • dundonald - Sep 9, 2013 at 7:48 PM

      Yeah, the Jays and Expos played an in season exhibition game for the Pearson Cup. The game was a Joke with Minor League pitchers toeing the rubber and coaches, etc. playing in the field. Just a ripoff. For lack of interest, and the CBA, minimum number of off days, these games were mercifully cancelled.

      Earlier this year there was talk of the Rays jabbering about a potential move to Montreal, to accelerate talks with Tampa/St. Pete to replace the Trop. Please folks the only fantasies you should have about the Big Owe is that an illusionist can make it disappear.

      The city and Province have no money to throw at this venture, plus high taxes and Madame Marois, Premier of the province, political agenda, certainly no foreigner with deep pockets would venture here.

  10. paperlions - Sep 9, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    If the Jay’s want to claim as much territory as possible, may I suggest they look into the clever use of flags?

  11. meatsweat - Sep 9, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Everyone loves the Québécois right? They’re not a fickle bunch at all…
    Montreal/Quebec does not deserve another pro team. Ever.

  12. cackalackyank - Sep 9, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    The Loria Bowl!

  13. ramblingalb - Sep 9, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    I assume it will be met with complete indifference and a ballpark that is not fit for even a couple exhibitions. They never drew more than 1.6M in the last decade they played there. It’s an embarrassment that we’re thankful to be in the past.

  14. hcf95688 - Sep 9, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    Too bad its not Jays/Rays.

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  16. yanmontreal - Sep 10, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    We talk Baseball everyday in Montréal, we just miss thats sports so much. I can assure you that both days are gonna be sold out. A lot of things have change since they left 10 years ago and it would be an great division,,
    Yankees,Toronto,Boston,Montréal,Philadelphia Wow!!

    Take care

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