Early spring training fever in Montreal
The group trying to bring back major league baseball to Montreal says things continue to roll along nicely, and they hope to have some more good news before the year is out.
Tickets went on sale over a month ago for the pair of spring training games at the Big O pitting the Toronto Blue Jays against the New York Mets and ex-Expo Warren Cromartie said he's pleased with the results so far.
"Over 50,000 have been sold for the games in March," the president of the Montreal Baseball Project told CJAD 800 News.
Cromartie said they've also sold about 28,000 tickets for next March's gala celebrating the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Expos
"This tells me how much they really miss major league baseball in Montreal, I think the businesses really miss Montreal baseball," Cromartie said.
Matthew Ross, chairman and founder of Expos fan website Expos Nation, said he's also been getting positive feedback from his fan base of over 164,000, some of whom he said have been snapping up multiple tickets. He said he's also seen an uptick in fans and followers.
"It tells us that it's not just people who are nostalgic, there are people who want to buy season tickets," said Ross.
Reports say the Tampa Rays could be looking at Montreal as a new home.
But Cromartie said he'll leave that to the media rumour mill.
He said he's focussing on a feasibility study expected before the year is out, addressing issues such as a downtown stadium and who would pay for it.
"The cost of the stadium, where the stadium's going to be, the possibility of who's getting involved," Cromartie said.
"They know there's a credible group trying to put this together, so in time we're going to get rid of some of the skepticism as far as baseball in Montreal (is concerned)."