MLB in Canada
In 1969 Canada got its first taste of the MLB when Montréal was awarded the Expos. Just 8 short years later the MLB doubled down awarding Toronto the Blue Jays in 1977. Although the Expos never had much success in Montreal they were loved, a matter of fact they are still loved to this day. Or Montréal loves baseball, totaling almost half a million fans over the past 6 seasons the Blue Jays have come to Montréal for pre-season games. After 36 years Montréal relocated to Washington and became the Nationals. Leaving the Blue Jays as the lone MLB in Canada. Things have worked out a lot better for the Blue Jays than they did for the Expos. Toronto has seen success winning back to back World Series in the early 90s and building a huge fan base across Canada, dubbing them “Canada’s team”.
Back to Montréal
The question is not if the Expos will back, it is when. Over the past couple of years, there have been rumblings of the Tampa Bay Rays moving to Montréal which is more likely than the MLB expanding back into Canada. With the success the Blue Jays have had across Canada there should be little doubt Montréal would not have similar success. Montréal still has a capable stadium in Olympic Stadium, holding a capacity of almost 46,000 people. Montréal is the perfect chance to get more a second MLB team in Canada again.
The Other City in Canada
Why does Eastern Canada get all the love? It is time to give Vancouver a chance at baseball. Vancouver is the second largest metropolitan city without an MLB team behind who other than Montréal. Vancouver currently homes the Blue Jays short-season A Canadians and draws big crowds averaging 6,210 fans per game in 2019. With their home stadium holding 6,500. Another positive note on Vancouver’s side is the number of Blue Jays fans that make the trip to Seattle to watch the Blue Jays. With T-Mobile packed with Blue Jays fans. With the addition of a Vancouver team, there would be hope that those fans convert to Vancouver fans. There have been talks to temporarily move the Arizona Diamondbacks to Vancouver while Arizona builds a new stadium. That also could be a gold mine to see if Vancouver is a home run or a strike for the MLB
Can We Expect the MLB Back in Canada?
With no real clues on if the MLB is thinking of expansion or relocation. Things are murky to say for the MLB in Canada. Canadians outside of Toronto areas would love the chance to have another team in the great white north. The Expos have been gone for 16 years and Vancouver has never had a taste of the MLB. Now is the time for Rob Manfred to put on his big boy pants and get Canada another team.
Follow me on Twitter at @cdemp45 for more of my content!
Come discuss this and much more at the Overtime Heroics forums!