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Montreal old city


Metropolitan Area: Montreal (Que.)

Metro Area Population: 4.34 million people
Metro Area Median Age: 40.8 yrs old
Metro Area Median Household Income: $58,292 (USD)
Other 'Big 5' Franchises in city: Montreal Canadiens (NHL), CF Montréal (MLS)
Number of Fortune 1000-equivalent businesses in city: 22
Combined annual revenue of Fortune 1000-equivalent businesses in city: $252.3bn (USD)

Montreal is a top tier expansion contender, with the second largest metro area population (after the Bay Area) and the highest number of Fortune 1000-equivalent companies. If awarded a franchise it would comfortably slot in alongside MLB's middle markets - while the rest of the competition, Oakland aside, would be among the league's smallest.

Furthermore, with MLB looking to expand internationally, a team in Montreal could serve as a unique gateway to French-speaking markets. It would also strengthen baseball in Canada, with the Toronto Blue Jays currently the country's only MLB franchise.

However, the city is also older and poorer than many of its rivals, while its major league history means there is uncertainty over whether a new franchise would be sustainable. Currently the only city that has hosted a MLB franchise in the past century but does not have a team - although soon to be joined by Oakland - Montreal was home to the Expos between 1969 and 2004. The Expos' tenure ended badly with an uncompetitive roster, poor support and an unsuitable stadium leading to an attempted contraction and eventually the franchise's relocation to Washington D.C. But Rob Manfred was right to note that "baseball was successful in Montreal for a very long time" and appetite for the sport remains - the city played host to some very well attended Blue Jays' spring training games between 2014-19.[1]

Since the Expos' departure there have been constant rumblings about Montreal regaining a franchise. The most concrete proposal was a plan to lure the Tampa Bay Rays to Montreal for half of their home games, establishing the ballclub as the first major sports team to have two home cities. Years of work went into the plan, which initially seemed to have legs before being quashed by MLB in January 2022.

The group behind the 'sister city' project were the Montreal Baseball Group, led by Stephen Bronfman, a previous minority owner of the Expos and son of the original majority owner Charles. They are the most likely ownership group in the market to bid for an expansion team.

After the sister city plan was rejected, Bronfman was steadfast that he would "love to see Montreal have a baseball team" and that it was "a major-league city" although honest that MLB's decision was a "slap in the face" and that bidding for an expansion team would require a "completely different business plan".[2] 

Bronfman has previously said that any successful franchise would require "five elements... [a] very strong mixed-used development [region around the stadium], great media partnership, strong local corporate support, great fan base, and very well managed business."[3] Any expansion bid from the group would undoubtedly seek to convince MLB that they can achieve them all.

With much of the necessary groundwork to bring a franchise to Montreal likely to have been completed as part of the sister city project; Bronfman himself already known to MLB's owners and familiar with baseball's business model; and a 100-player poll conducted by The Athletic placing Montreal as their second-favourite expansion location, if Bronfman and his group do decide to throw their hat into the ring they will be very serious contenders.



TV Market Size
Metro Area Size
Median Household Income
Fortune 1000-equivalent Businesses
Median Age
Minor League Attendance


TV Market Size
Metro Area Size
Median Household Income
Fortune 1000-equivalent Businesses
Median Age


Montreal ballpark rendering

Source: Expos Nation. Baseball Expansion makes no claim of copyright or credit for the above image.

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