You may have seen by now reports by Jeff Passan that the Tampa Bay Rays have received permission to “explore” the possibility of splitting time between the Tampa area and Montreal. The report says that should the plan come to fruition and get the necessary permissions, the team would play some games in Tampa in a new stadium, and some in Montreal in a new stadium.
It’s not gonna happen. There are so many things wrong with this plan that it almost certainly has been made and an agreement to “explore it” has been approved as part of a greater ploy to try and speed up a final resolution on the future of the Rays in Tampa, encourage the future of baseball in Montreal, or both.
I mean, whatever reason could there be for this plan? There are, as I said, so many things wrong this plan:
- It supposes that St. Petersburg would let it happen, which they won’t.
- It supposes that somehow they’ll be able to have two cities build new stadiums for a team they’ll only have half of the season.
- It supposes that this team that is split between two cities in different countries will somehow get any sort of large amount of fan support.
- It supposes that the Player’s Union will agree to have players on the ExRays to have to maintain in-season residences in two different cities in two different countries, staying away from their families and/or moving them mid-season, while dealing with different laws, languages and tax codes. Spoiler alert: They won’t.
- It supposes that TV deals, sponsorship deals, and other business considerations would be able to be worked out.
And the list goes on…
So why are they doing this? Well, it seems simple: this plan is meant to either A) finally get someone in the Tampa area to build a new stadium or B) grease the skids for a move to Montreal.
Will it work? Time will tell.