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MLB expansion on hold until Oakland and Tampa Bay get new stadiums

According to Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball in Montreal will have to wait until Oakland and Tampa Bay get new stadiums, Tuesday, July 11, 2017.
According to Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball in Montreal will have to wait until Oakland and Tampa Bay get new stadiums, Tuesday, July 11, 2017. Ryan Remiorz / The Canadian Press

There are two major hurdles standing in the way of Major League Baseball possibly returning to Montreal: Oakland and Tampa
Bay.

Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke with media on Monday during an All-Star Game town hall meeting where he said MLB will continue to delay any plans for expansion until after the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays get new ballparks.

“I think it would be difficult to convince the owners to go forward with an expansion until those situations are resolved,” said Manfred.

READ MORE: Tim Raines thinks baseball will “100 per cent” return to Montreal

“Once they’re done, I think we have some great candidates,” Manfred said. “I know the mayor of Montreal has been very vocal
about bringing baseball back to Montreal. It was not great when the Expos left. The fact of the matter was baseball was successful in Montreal for a very long time. Charlotte is a possibility. And I would like to think that Mexico City or some place in Mexico would be another possibility.”

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READ MORE: Baseball exhibit opens in Montreal City Hall

The Expos split time between Montreal and San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 2003 and 2004 before relocating to Washington, D.C., and being renamed the Nationals in 2005.

Montreal mayor Denis Coderre has long lobbied for a return of professional baseball to the city.