Montreal mayor Denis Coderre will meet with baseball commissioner Rob Mandred on Thursday to discuss the possibility of baseball's return to Montreal.
The meeting was first announced on May 17. Coderre has been open about his desire to return Major League Baseball to Montreal.
The city hosted the Montreal Expos from 1969 to 2004, when the franchise moved to Washington, D.C. to become the Nationals.
The Expos consistently finished last in MLB in attendance in the years leading up to their relocation, including every year from 2001-04.
This spring, a total of more than 96,000 people attended a pair of Toronto Blue Jays exhibition games held at Montreal's Olympic Stadium, the second year in a row the city drew impressive crowds for exhibition games.
In January, shortly after becoming commissioner, Manfred expressed his interest in Montreal in an interview with the New York Times.
"I think Montreal helped itself as a candidate for Major League Baseball with the Toronto games that they had up there last year," he said. "It’s hard to miss how many people showed up for those exhibition games. It was a strong showing. Montreal’s a great city. I think with the right set of circumstances and the right facility, it’s possible."
Coderre told Fox Sports he views Thursday's meeting as important to baseball's future in Montreal.
“I want to show him our love of baseball," Coderre said, "the fact that the political will is there to make this happen. I’m not going to negotiate publicly, but I’m going to send the strong message that we have the tools. I’m going to show him that we’re serious.
“This is the beginning.”
A team could return to Montreal through either expansion or the relocation of an existing team.
Mtl is clearly a baseball Town.It's part of our DNA.Will show it to Comm. Manfred tomorrow.Want also to thank him for his nice words on Mtl— DenisCoderre (@DenisCoderre) May 28, 2015
Denis Coderre is on my flight to NYC to lobby MLB. Montreal's mayor is flying economy. Good for him.— Michael Farber (@MichaelFarber3) May 28, 2015
- Alex Putterman