Mayor Valérie Plante has announced she is ready to talk baseball. She is scheduled to meet with baseball promoters Stephen Bronfman and Mitch Garber to discuss how to move forward and the possibility of bringing a team back to Montreal.
This comes on the heels of her well-noted absence by baseball fans at last week’s exhibition games at the Olympic Stadium between the Blue Jays and the Cardinals – but some members of her team did, and they took part in preliminary discussions with Bronfman and Garber.
Last week Bronfman said he had ‘no intention of seeking money from Montreal taxpayers, but he does need help from Plante’. During the election campaign, Plante said she would hold a referendum to consult Montrealers first, as she refused to spend taxpayers’ money on a new baseball stadium without doing so – and the fact Bronfman was not looking for cash appears to be what has prompted her to move forward.
Plante is ready to listen, but there is no question right now of offering land to the promoters for a new baseball stadium. Although the previous administration was very keen on bringing baseball back, they were unable to settle on a site for a new stadium.
This also comes on the heels of the passing of Rusty Staub ‘Le Grand Orange’ last week – which brought Montreal baseball fans together, reminiscing about the Expos and inspiring the cries to bring baseball back to this city.