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Hat tip to Bluebird Banter for this one, as they’ve spotted a report from Montreal’s 98,5 Sports that says a tentative agreement has been set, and that evenko will once again be opening up the doors to le Stade Olympique, as the Jays will face off with Canada’s own Joey Votto and the Cincinnati Reds for two games next spring.

It’s a hell of a bit of great news to come today, on the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the strike that led to the cancellation of the 1994 season — in which, of course, the Expos were running away with the NL East and certain to win the World Series (or whatever revisionist history we allow ourselves to believe about it). This year’s event was positively magical.

It’s also maybe a bit weird, though, given the massive support that Jays fans on the west coast are right this fucking minute showing for the team down in Seattle, as they learn that the hope of bringing spring training games to BC Place has been spurned, at least for another year.

And that’s especially disappointing, I’d wager, since it’s been less than two weeks since reports arose suggesting the Vancouver Canadians were looking into ways to bring a Blue Jays exhibition to the city.

From Metronews.ca:

Vancouver Canadians president Andy Dunn, speaking on Team 1040 radio on Thursday, said it’s something the local club is looking at. The C’s are the short-season Single-A affiliate of the Blue Jays, Canada’s lone Major League Baseball team.

There’s one major obstacle, however, at the recently renovated BC Place and that is the new video board, Dunn told the Vancouver sports radio station.

. . .

“We’re going to be sending some guys down there in the coming weeks. We’re actually going to go hit in the place and just find out how big a factor that video board comes into play. And if it doesn’t come into play, hopefully that’s something we’ll definitely be working on and bringing some exhibition games to BC Place.”

One supposes the Jays could do a series both cities — it would certainly be a revenue win, a win for the brand, and it’s not like they’d be leaving behind a palace in Dunedin to do it — but that’s a lot of travel. And if it’s just one that can be done, it looks like Montreal is it, for now.

Hard to blame the Jays, as the 98,5 Sports report says (translated from French), that the Pittsburgh Pirates were in talks about being the Jays’ opponents, and that, in fact, several teams reportedly wanted a part of the action following the success of this year’s series.

Of course, at that time I wrote about the excitement for baseball’s big return to the Big O, while at the same time fearing when “the dubious hand of Rogers starts milking it, year after year, for all it’s worth until it’s fucked to death, like you and I both know that they will.” Is this the beginning of that? Maybe not if Vancouver finds a way to accommodate some games. And even if it is, round two in Montreal next spring? Fucking right, that still sounds awesome!

Comments (20)

  1. The Jays should look to do a cross-country tour the way Man United does in the US. It’s a lot of travel but it’s a huge source of revenue and a massive marketing boost.

  2. i’ll have to remember not to double book myself with a charity walk this year.

  3. Edwin just crushed a grand slam

  4. We would like to play half of regular season games in montreal in order to create a demand imbalance for games in toronto. Then we can increase ticket prices to 3 figures and maximize our revenue. As a result we can then increase our dividend by 2 cents per share for our loyal shareholders.

  5. Trololololololololololololololololololololololololol
    @MartyYork: #Jays should be very ashamed, allowing double digits in Seattle, where scoring’s tough. Ignore shameless apologies from homer media types.

  6. I hope Evenco does a better job at selling tickets to these games than they did for the ones in March. The lineups to pick up tickets were ridiculous (no print at home option) We were an hour early and didn’t get in until the 4th inning. Also, it was just about the dustiest place on earth….total shitshow.

  7. What’s been a real kick in the testes for Vancouver-based Jays fans is that the Jays visit to Seattle has fallen on weekdays the last handful of years. I would assume both the Jays and Mariners are bright enough to put in the scheduling request for a weekend series, and that the reason it hasn’t happened is simply the result of complex scheduling demands. Because, having attended Jays’ weekend series at SAFECO in the past, I can tell you its a big sloppy soldout Canadian fucking party.

  8. IMO we should not be playing games in that god awful field in the Big O. It is like running on hard cement, but was does Rogers care about their players

  9. Sorry to offend, but a bit tired of the random Montreal nostalgia. It’s more of a hockey town than Toronto and the attendance was pathetic for a long before the team moved. Would a better stadium and location help? Yeah, sure, probably. But let’s be real; it likely won’t happen and by all accounts, it probably shouldn’t.

    • I agree, Montreal fucked it up the first time and it will never return.

      • ok lets be honest here. the real reason it fell apart was because levesque chased away a million expos fans and therefore the economics simply didnt work, new stadium or not.

        its a shame because both english and french speaking quebecois would have made it work.

    • More of a hockey town then the hockey mecca? Ok……….

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