Not A Happy Thanksgiving For Certain Canadian MLB And NHL Fans

Neither Montréal nor Québec City are close to regaining lost teams.

It is Thanksgiving in Canada but Major League Baseball fans in Montréal and National Hockey League fans in Québec City really have nothing to celebrate. MLB ended a plan that would have seen Tampa Bay Rays home games played in St. Petersburg, Florida and Montréal last January and it appears that potential Montréal MLB owners have retreated and that a Major League Baseball Montréal stadium plan has not even made the drawing board. MLB has walked away from Montréal, a city it began abandoning in the mid-1990s and left after the 2004 season. Montréal’s stadium problem seems frozen in time  with nothing new emerging in the past two decades although politicians occasionally make noise about perhaps building a Major League Baseball suitable stadium. Montréal’s TV market probably is better than it was when the Expos baseball business was yanked out of the city by MLB. There probably is a much better TV deal to be had.

The National Hockey League does not see Québec City as a financially viable market. There is fan interest but fan interest can only take you so far. You need real loonies and Québec City is a government town with limited corporate support. It is also a small market. The NHL is not going to be expanding in the foreseeable future and even if the league wanted to add a team or two, Québec City is not on anybody’s list in the NHL of a place that is essential to league business. The Québec Nordiques business was sold to Denver interests in 1995 and moved operations to Colorado. The problem in 1995 was simple, Québec City didn’t have an NHL state-of-the-art arena, there is a building now in the ville but limited corporate and TV loonies hurt that chances of the NHL ever returning to Québec City. Happy Thanksgiving otherwise.

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