MLB commissioner envisions baseball's return to Montreal

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said Tuesday that he could envision a serious bid to return baseball to Montreal, saying "I think they would be an excellent candidate in the future. No question about it."

Bud Selig said pair of exhibition games at Olympic Stadium in spring was 'very impressive'

The Montreal Expos franchise moved to Washington D.C. in 2004 and changed their name to the Nationals. (Radio-Canada)

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig can envision Montreal making a bid to return to the major leagues.

The statement comes after rumours began circling last week about the Oakland A's possible plans to move.

The team's current stadium in Oakland, Calif., has seen better days, and the A's team owner and city officials aren't sure whether it's worthwhile to tear down the current stadium and build a new one.

Meanwhile, the Expos joined the National League for the 1969 season and remained in the big leagues through 2004 before moving to Washington and becoming the Nationals.

While the Expos failed to draw 1 million spectators to Olympic Stadium in any of their final seven seasons, a total of 96,350 fans attended a pair of exhibition games there in March between the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays.

"I think they would be an excellent candidate in the future. No question about it. That was very impressive," Selig said Tuesday during a question-and-answer session with the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

"They have much work to be done," he said. "There's certainly in my case no hard or angry feeling toward Montreal. We tried to keep a team there. It's a long story now. But I thought that was marvellous."

Montreal mayor 'overjoyed'

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre was pleased with the news that Montreal is being considered.

"I’m overjoyed that they’re talking about Montreal," he said at a news conference on Tuesday.

He would not say how far the talks have progressed, but did say a feasibility study had very positive results.

Coderre said a long line of legendary baseball players graced the ranks of the Montreal Expos, and that Montreal deserved to regain its status as a baseball city.

With files from CBC News


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