The following is cross-posted from Noah Pransky’s Shadow of the Stadium blog.
Just as the Rays were wrapping up a six-game series to open their season (avg. attendance: 22,839), one of the MLB’s top beat writers, the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, dropped news on NESN that a group of businessmen in Montreal were gaining some credibility in efforts to bring baseball back. Watch here.
Cafardo called the effort a “longshot,” but of course, he name-checked the Rays as the most logical choice to relocate since MLB “won’t be expanding soon.”
Cafardo has previously nailed the Rays’ attendance issues on the head, writing “The Rays simply can’t get a stadium built. It’s baffling why people in the Tampa/St. Pete area make such a big deal about driving over the bridge to St. Pete. It really isn’t that bad, is it?”
But nevertheless, we can expect a new round of Rays relocation rumors this week….and that’s just what the league wants. Why? Because as Hall-of-Famer Peter Gammons said, “You need to be able to blackmail people” with another baseball-hungry city.
Just remember, Montreal lost the Expos because they were drawing fewer than 10,000 a game – often 4,000 a night.
Then again, a new list from Sports Weekly (operated by USAToday & owned by Gannett, my employer), indicates Tropicana Field is the worst park in the majors. For what it’s worth, the article doesn’t seem to take into account a lot of the things the Rays do right at the Trop, such as affordability, the ability to bring your own food inside, and also the park’s ingress/egress.