MLB – Quebeckers soon to be shareholders of the Tampa Bay Rays?
The sister cities project between St. Petersburg and Montreal for the Tampa Bay Rays is progressing so well in the eyes of Stephen Bronfman that he predicted in an interview with the columnist of the Journal of Montreal Réjean Tremblay that he and his group will become minority shareholders of the Rays within 3 or 4 months.
“In a few months, probably three or four, our Montreal group will become part-owner of the Tampa team with Stuart Sternberg, the current owner of the Rays. The negotiations are very advanced. We’re going to become minority shareholders, but that doesn’t bother us at all. Stuart Sternberg is an upright man who is not a Jeffrey Loria [ancien propriétaire des Expos] Bronfman explained to the columnist.
Does shared custody rule out the possibility of expansion?
At the same time, Bronfman adds that during the summer of 2020, he and his group will be negotiating agreements with future sponsors, partners and television networks.
The goal of the new group of owners would be to file a complete file at the end of summer 2020 with the office of Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, which would include the architects’ plans for the construction of a new stadium in Montreal.
Bronfman and his group have received significant support from Manfred recently. Coming out of an MLB Team Owners Meeting in Orlando, Manfred said he and the owners believe this is the best option to keep a team in the Tampa Bay area. even if it’s only part-time.
Bronfman says the team, which is not named for the Rays or Expos, will play its first game in Montreal in June 2024.
Bronfman also swears that this project does not have the hidden objective of one day obtaining a full-time team in Montreal.
“And I want to be clear, this is not a story of shared custody that hides a permanent transfer in a few years. We believe in this project. It’s been 16 years since we lost the Expos, we do not want to blunder again to miss this opportunity. Montreal is a great city of events. Well we are going to create events with the visit of the Yankees [de New York], Red Sox [de Boston], from [Blue Jays de] Toronto, the buzz will be there, that’s for sure, ”Bronfman told Tremblay.