Blue Jays to play two spring training games in Montreal

Wednesday November 5th, 2014

For the second straight year, the Toronto Blue Jays will play a pair of spring training games at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, the team announced Tuesday.

The Jays will face the Cincinnati Reds on April 3 and 4 to close out their 2015 spring training.

Last March, the Blue Jays drew 96,350 fans for two games against the New York Mets at Olympic Stadium, which was more than organizers were expecting.

"I think everyone agrees that the reception we got was unbelievable," Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "The reception was amazing and the players all raved about it. So much so, that when we were done playing, the texts and emails I got from other executives on teams was through the roof."

According to the Associated Press, former Blue Jays star and Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar and longtime manager Cito Gaston will be honored at the games, as will former Reds and Montreal Expos Hall of Famer Tony Perez.

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The Expos joined the National League for the 1969 season as an expansion team and played 36 seasons in Montreal before the franchise moved to Washington and became the Nationals for the 2005 season.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre is hopeful that another large turnout can help convince Major League Baseball officials that the city is a viable location for a team, something Blue Jays president Paul Beeston agreed with.

"Don't think that 100,000 people showing up for two exhibition games last year was lost on baseball," Beeston said. "It wasn't. I don't know what it means, but it wasn't lost on them."

- Phil Watson

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