MLB politely refuses Montreal’s offer to host games as Hurricane Irma nears Florida

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, right, shares a laugh with Toronto counterpart John Tory prior to the Blue Jays facing the Boston Red Sox in a spring training baseball game Saturday, April 2, 2016 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Montreal has renewed its offer to Major League Baseball (MLB) to help out in the wake of Hurricane Irma, but was politely refused.

A person with knowledge of the city’s offer told The Canadian Press late Thursday that the City of Montreal made an offer to host the upcoming three-game series between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays.

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Scheduled to be held in Tampa Bay between Sept. 11 and 14, it might end up being played in neutral territory.

Irma is expected to hit Florida on Saturday and despite some fluctuations in strength, it will likely stay a Category 4 hurricane.

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A spokesman for the MLB commissioner’s office said late Thursday that if the series is moved, it won’t take place in Montreal.

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The league did not say where the series would be held, but the Tampa Bay Times reported the league would decide on Saturday and Baltimore is the likely destination.

The Saturday timing wouldn’t leave Montreal with the roughly five days needed to convert Olympic Stadium to host baseball.

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Montreal also offered to help when the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers had to move their series last week because of hurricane Harvey.

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The three games were ultimately held at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays, between Aug. 29 and 31.

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Less than 15,000 people total attended the three games.

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“As for the Astros games, it was to offer our support to Major League Baseball that we submitted this request,” the source said.

“Montreal would have the capacity to respond to all Major League Baseball’s demands.”

The city would have also used the series to raise funds to help hurricane victims and the source suggested a Yankees-Rays series would have sold out in Montreal.

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