The Tampa Bay Rays Should Play 3 Series A Year In Montreal Right Now

Trioicana Field is reg

Tropicana Field is regarded as the 2nd worst facility in the Major Leagues next to the in Oakland.  The Rays are always in the bottom 2 for attendance in the ML and simply can’t draw much more than that – even though they had 6 straight 80 win seasons from 2008 – 2013.  With 4 other clubs in their Division all spending double to triple the amount of money on payroll as them, it will not get better for the clubs finances any time soon.  They are locked in a lease deal until 2027.  Why not play some of their games at Olympic Stadium in Montreal in the meantime?

With horrible attendance each year, coupled with the recent success of exhibition games at Olympic Stadium over the last few years, along with the stadium issue sill being prominent in the area, the Rays should host 9 – 10 games in Montreal, QC, Canada.

My idea would be to have one series in the French Province against the Jays, one against the Boston Red Sox and also one set of games versus the Yankees.

Considering the amount of traveling fans from these 3 AL East contending clubs, I would think the contests would be well attended.

This schedule would still allow the Tampa Bay Rays to hold 2 other series in St. Petersburg versus all 3 clubs.

With the 19 Games a year versus Division rivals, this is a good way to have the Rays also not create team fatigue within their home dates.

The Blue Jays drew almost 100K fans in the two regular season games in Montreal. At the very least, why not host a few series in early April to help drive up attendance? Olympic Stadium could host a series versus the Rays/Orioles, or you could make it more accessible to the New York and Boston fan bases - by hosting series against the Red Sox and Yankees.

The Blue Jays have down almost 100K fans in the two  preseason games in Montreal.they have had over the last few years. With a thirst for MLB action in Montreal, and a potential expansion or relocated team headed there in the near future, why not play 10 games a year there right now for the Rays?  You could host one series a year versus the Jays/Red Sox and Yankees, and give the opposing fanbases a chance to help flood the turnstiles.

During the latest CBA renewal vote, the Rays and owner Stuart Sternberg were the only franchise to vote no against the proposal.  It is easy to see why when the Luxury Tax Thresholds still don’t hit until $195 MIL in team payroll.

Considering the recent success of the Orioles and Jays in the last few years, all 4 other AL East clubs will likely exceed $150+ MIL in payroll, while Tampa is barely half of that.

Tampa finished dead last in MLB Attendance yet again with 1.286 MIL people coming through Tropicana Field in 2016.  You can’t tell me if the city of Montreal hosted 10 games a year right now – that they would not bring in about 40, 000 fans per game if that were the situation. 

If the club averaged its usual 15K for for the other games, they could raise their attendance by about 200, 000 – 250, 000 people.  It would serve both as a warning to the city of Tampa, but it could also be seen as a nice trail for the MLB if the city of Montreal would support another club.

Sternberg could also see what it may be like should he ever want to relocate/or even sell  to a city like Montreal once the Tropicana Field lease is finally off the books for the club in 2027.


The “Trop” was frequented less in 2016 than any other MLB stadium and it is a shame. Tropicana Field has been the only MLB Park for the Rays. Unfortunately the club has a lease that runs through the year 2027 (they can pay a fee per season to leave early as soon as 2022 if they can find an alternative home.. There have been several talks of a downtown Tampa Stadium right off of Highway 4. All have plans have been derailed. With limited revenues generated playing out of this venue, it will be tough to keep doing this year after year,  It will also be hard to keep the team in Tampa if they don’t find a new ballpark location  that will create more cash flow.

By Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of and their partners***

A big thanks goes out to our ‘Chief Writer/Part Owner’ Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s featured post.

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About hunterstokes21

I Played NCAA Baseball at Liberty University in the 90's with Sid Bream's kid Sheldon. Once Hit a Home Run by hitting a hot air balloon that was coming over 2nd base (It was agreed that if a balloon was hit before game by the umpires and coaches - even though they were setting up in LF/CF Bleachers). I believe in the "Church Of Baseball". Come in for worship anytime.

Posted on January 24, 2017, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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