Denis Coderre has pledged $11 million to get the city’s baseball diamonds back into shape with Montreal’s new baseball policy.
"Montreal is a baseball town," said the mayor at a news conference at City Hall on Friday morning.
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He said all the boroughs are enthusiastic about the new baseball policy. The project would see $2 million invested in 2015, $4 million in 2016 and $5 million in 2017.
Projet Montreal on Friday afternoon released a statement chastising Coderre for dedicating public funds to a personal pet project.
The Opposition also said they couldn't believe what it said was a stipulation in the new policy that says Coderre must be invited to all public relations events related to renovation work at boroughs' baseball diamonds, at least 10 days ahead of said events.
Baseball is part of Montreal's DNA, Coderre says
The policy is aimed at encouraging people of all ages to play baseball, as well as to bring “prestigious competitions” to Montreal so that young people can see the best players in the world in action.
He said the popularity of two Major League Baseball exhibition games at the Olympic Stadium last spring proves Montrealers are excited about baseball.
"It is part of our DNA. It's not about nostalgia," Coderre said.
He said he hoped Montrealers would rally around the sport in light of the policy.
MLB will visit the Olympic Stadium once again this spring in two pre-season exhibition games in which the Toronto Blue Jays will face off against the Cinncinati Reds.