Batter Up? The Prospects Of Baseball Returning To Montreal

Feb 20, 2019

The Montreal Expos started playing baseball at Jarry Park in 1969. They eventually moved to Olympic Stadium but it all came to an end after the 2004 season, when Major League Baseball moved the franchise to Washington, D.C.

Over the last several years, there has been a growing movement led by the Montreal Baseball Project to bring a team back to the city. Vermont Edition spoke with the group's president Warren Cromartie about the prospects of a team returning to Montreal.

Cromartie was an outfielder for the Expos from 1974 to 1983. In 2012, he started the Montreal Baseball Project to bring a major league franchise back to the city. Cromartie has put together a group of potential owners for the proposed team. He says the group fully understands how much capital it will take to make this dream come true.

"We're looking at over a billion dollars. To buy a franchise or an expansion. To build a ballpark," Cromartie said.

The Expos played their final home game at Olympic Stadium against the Florida Marlins on September 29, 2004.
Credit Paul Chiasson / Associated Press File

While recent rumors out of Montreal have indicated that the group is leaning towards a new stadium  located in the Peel Basin area of town, Cromartie insists that no decision has been made yet.

But he does say that Montreal has a leg up on other cities trying to land an expansion or existing major league team.

"We're in a position for both. I think we may be positioned a little to buy an existing team because we do have another place that we can play - Olympic Stadium - until the other stadium is built. So we are in a better position than Portland and maybe a couple other places they're talking about as well."

To keep the excitement for major league baseball alive, for the fifth straight season, the Montreal Baseball Project will be hosting a two-game Toronto Blue Jays exhibition series at Olympic Stadium. This year the Jays take on the Milwaukee Brewers on March 25 and 26.

Broadcast on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.