Earlier today, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the Tampa Bay Rays have received permission from Major League Baseball to explore becoming a two-city team. The idea is to play their early-season games at Tropicana Field in Tampa, then play the rest of the season in Montreal. With an ongoing attendance issue, Rays executives feel that this move could be both a short term solution, along with an opportunity to grow the teams fan base.
Now, I know a lot of people have been up in arms about this idea but personally, I love it. Currently, Rays fans do not go to games, like at all. And it’s a shame because the Rays are a top five team in the American league and deserve to have their fans support. With this being said, I do understand why Rays fans are not showing up to support their squad. For starters, their stadium is an absolute dump. I am pretty sure my high school field was nicer than Tropicana so I can not blame the fans for not wanting to spend their day in a shit box. Secondly, St. Petersburg (Where the stadium is located,) is in the middle of no where. If the Trop was located in Tampa Bay, like it should be, I could see a growth in attendance.
Taking these reasons into consideration, this potential move makes absolute sense. Montreal, who has not had a Major League baseball team since 2005, is a GREAT sports town. The Habs fan base in one of the strongest in the NHL and Canadians are some of the most passionate fans in the world. However, logistically, it is very hard to see how this would all play out. Would the Rays pay for the season ticket holders travel from city to city? Would the players have to buy two houses? Where would the playoff games be played? Would ANY free agents want to even play for the Montreal, Tampa Bays, Ray-Expos. Okay, Maybe now that I have thought about it more, it may not be such a great idea. But good luck Tampa Bay!