Spring training has arrived. Pitchers and catchers reported last week and the remaining players will be reporting shortly in Florida and Arizona. As we get ready to host another pair of Grapefruit League games in Montreal, February also signals what seems to be an annual tradition of cranking up the PR machine and tell the baseball world of how worthy and deserving we are to get our baseball team back.
Sure enough, we will get another 100,000 people jammed into Olympic Stadium. Commissioner Manfred will once again tell us how impressed he is with our level of excitement. Mayor Denis Coderre will continue to say, “Montréal est une ville de baseball.” and “Ce n’est pas de la nostalgie, c’est de l’ADN“. We know this Mr. Mayor. Enough already!
Don’t get me wrong. Coderre and Warren Cromartie have done an exceptional job promoting the project and getting it along this far. It is time for the movers and shakers, the ones with the deep pockets and chequebooks in hand to take the forefront.
Behind the scenes, Stephen Bronfman and Manfred have been speaking. Manfred has made it clear that the priority for 2016 will be to complete a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the MLB Players’ Association. Great idea! In Montreal, we have already been cursed by players’ strikes twice. Let’s get this out of the way.
Make no mistake however. Platitudes sent our way about of how great Montreal baseball fans are has its limits. How many more years will we endure paying $200 for a pair of tickets to a meaningless game? My guess is one more. In 2017, we will celebrate Tim Raines’ induction into the Hall of Fame and another pair of games would be the perfect platform for this. OK, then what?
Mr. Bronfman, if you happen to be reading this, it’s time to take center stage. The politicians and all the associated PR has runs its’ course. Rumors generated by journalists, bloggers, politicians, and others coming out of the woodwork will only cheapen the message.
Mr. Bronfman, Montrealers are ready to back you up. What do you need? Seat licenses? Names on bricks? Deposits on season tickets? You know that we are behind you.
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