The Tampa Bay Rays are considering a drastic plan to help their attendance woes. The Rays received permission to explore splitting home games between the Tampa Bay area and Montreal, according to a report from ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Under the plan, the Rays would play early-season home games in the Tampa Bay area and the remainder of the year in Montreal. Both cities would get new stadiums.
It also means that opposing teams - like the Orioles - would be faced with an interesting travel schedule. The Baltimore Orioles and their traveling fans will have to break out the passports for September games.
But, Tampa Bay may have dropped a bombshell knowing it was a long shot. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman shot down the idea of a new stadium. "After 12 years of indecision... I am tired of the games that are being played related to getting a new stadium built," he told reporters.
More comments from Mayor @Kriseman, who is adamantly against this idea of a split season. Can you hear the disdain?— Josh Solomon (@ByJoshSolomon) June 20, 2019
"I believe this is getting a bit silly."
"After 12 years of indecision... I am tired of the games that are being played related to getting a new stadium built."
At the very least, the "two-city solution" is a unique attempt to revive a club that ranks second-to-last in attendance this season despite owning the fourth-best record in the American League. The Rays would stay in Florida before the stadium's lease expires in 2027.
Montreal hasn't had an MLB team since the Expos left for Washington and became the Nationals in 2004.
Passan says there are "significant hurdles" to the plan becoming reality. But, the thought of the O's going north of the Canadian border for a late-season game against their AL East rival is an intriguing one.
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