MONTREAL, Jan. 20, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – Statement by Mr. Stephen Bronfman following the decision communicated to the Tampa Bay Rays by Major League Baseball authorities.
Our friends and partners at the Rays learned today that MLB officials will not allow the Sister City project between Montreal and Tampa Bay to move forward.
More than two years ago, Major League Baseball gave the Rays the green light to pursue its Sister City Baseball Plan and, on a number of occasions, publicly supported this innovative vision.
The plan involved the Rays building new open-air ballparks in both Tampa Bay and Montreal and for each market to host about half of the team’s regular season games.
Montreal was selected for this unique partnership because we are a world-class North American city that is complementary to Tampa Bay in many ways. But also because there is a strong history and affinity for baseball in our great city.
In Montreal, we had chosen the Bridge Bonaventure sector and we wanted the return of an MLB team to be about much more than baseball and a stadium. Our vision was for an ambitious, inclusive, and eco-responsible project that would take a new approach to integrating first-class sports and community facilities in a vibrant and balanced living neighbourhood.
While we are disappointed with MLB’s decision, we respect it. I am very proud of the work we’ve done together with our partners and friends in Tampa Bay.
I want to express my deepest gratitude to the Rays, and in particular to Stuart Sternberg and his executive team, Matt, Brian, Melanie, Razi and Robbie.
And a special thanks to all of the people in the Montreal business community, and in the community at large who have supported us every step of the way in advancing this ground-breaking project.
In particular, I would like to recognize the support from the Chambre de commerce du Montréal Métropolitain and its CEO Michel Leblanc from the very beginning.
We had very open and collaborative discussions with the Government of Quebec and the City of Montreal, and I would like to personally thank our Premier François Legault and our Mayor Valérie Plante for their encouragement and support.
We reignited a strong appetite in this market for Major League Baseball from all key stakeholders: the fan base; the corporate sector and the media. Major League Baseball has certainly taken notice.
This project would have meant so much for the relaunch of our community and our province, providing hope for everyone after these dark couple of years.
SOURCE Montreal Baseball Group