Montreal group supports idea of sharing Rays with Tampa Bay

Private equity mogul Stephen Bronfman speaks to the media about the prospect of Major League Baseball returning to Montreal Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Montreal. Bronfman, whose father Charles was the original owner of the Expos, is part of a group spearheading effort to return baseball to Montreal. The Tampa Bay Rays have been given the go-ahead by Major League Baseball to look into playing a split season in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)
Private equity mogul Stephen Bronfman speaks to the media about the prospect of Major League Baseball returning to Montreal Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Montreal. Bronfman, whose father Charles was the original owner of the Expos, is part of a group spearheading effort to return baseball to Montreal. The Tampa Bay Rays have been given the go-ahead by Major League Baseball to look into playing a split season in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)
Private equity mogul Stephen Bronfman speaks to the media about the prospect of Major League Baseball returning to Montreal Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Montreal. Bronfman, whose father Charles was the original owner of the Expos, is part of a group spearheading effort to return baseball to Montreal. At left is and Pierre Boivin. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)
Private equity mogul Stephen Bronfman speaks to the media about the prospect of Major League Baseball returning to Montreal Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Montreal. Bronfman, whose father Charles was the original owner of the Expos, is part of a group spearheading effort to return baseball to Montreal. The Tampa Bay Rays have been given the go-ahead by Major League Baseball to look into playing a split season in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)

MONTREAL — The son of former Montreal Expos owner Charles Bronfman believes the predominantly French-speaking city is ready and willing to support — and share — the Tampa Bay Rays.

Private equity investor Stephen Bronfman leads a group working on bringing baseball back to Montreal and says the city can support baseball. He calls the idea of one team in two cities groundbreaking.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said last week the Rays have "broad permission to explore what's available." Tampa Bay is averaging 14,546 fans a game, lowest in the American League and well below the MLB average of 27,360.

On Tuesday, Rays principal owner Stu Sternberg said it's unrealistic for his team to play full time in the Tampa Bay area, and said a shared season with Montreal is the best option.

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