Tampa Bay Rays Plan for ‘Sister City’ in Montreal is Dead

Tampa Bay Rays
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The plan for the Tampa Bay Rays to play half the year in Montreal and half in Florida is now a dead issue, according to reports.

Rays Owner Stu Sternberg had begun floating the “sister city” plan almost three years ago. Still, this week, Major League Baseball officially nixed the idea, according to JP Peterson of The JP Peterson Show.

The Rays put out a statement saying that they don’t know why the league put the kibosh on the deal.

“Recently, it took a turn to the south, and we don’t know why. But MLB was not prepared to go forward with it,” Sternberg said in his statement.

Sternberg also promised to keep the Rays in Tampa.

“We’re certainly exploring things in the Tampa Bay region,” Sternberg added. “Our goal is to keep it here for generations.”

Tampa fans are less sure that Sternberg is so loyal to Tampa. His “sister city” idea would have had the Rays playing half the season in Florida before heading to Canada to play the rest of the season. Sternberg wanted the plan to kick off in 2027.

Not to mention that last year Rays Co-President Brian Auld warned that “full-time baseball in Tampa Bay was no longer on the table,” Outkick reported.

“When you look at the over 20 years of data we have on Tampa Bay, when you look at the demographics in the region, the distances that separate our wonderful cities, when you ask the hard questions, we concluded that it’s next to impossible for baseball to succeed in Tampa Bay today,” Auld said at the time.

Kevin Kiermaier of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts after Alex Verdugo of the Boston Red Sox was called out at third in the eighth inning during Game 4 of...

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 11: Kevin Kiermaier #39 of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts after Alex Verdugo #99 of the Boston Red Sox was called out at third in the eighth inning during Game 4 of the American League Division Series at Fenway Park on October 11, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Thus far, there is no financial plan for the Rays’ future in Tampa. But on Thursday, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor tweeted that she and others are working on plans to keep the Rays in Tampa.

“All along our goal has been to keep the Rays in Tampa Bay. We had been working on both sister city and full season proposals, and now we can focus all of our energy on a full season,” Castor wrote. “I am optimistic @RaysBaseball will call Tampa Bay home for many years to come.”

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