There are two things in baseball that never change: history and numbers. As far as Major League Baseball in Montreal goes, the numbers are in and numbers don’t lie: we are viable!
Today Montreal Baseball Project, in collaboration with the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, Ernst & Young, and BCF LLP, announced the results of a feasibility study on the viability of Major League Baseball in Montreal that we launched back in March. Although I’ve known all along Montreal is still a baseball city, we felt it was important to put that question to the population and to the business community in order to back up what I already personally believed. I could not be more pleased with the results.
We are closer to our goal now than at any time in the last decade.
According to a Leger Marketing poll conducted as part of the study, the return of Major League Baseball to Montreal would be embraced by both fans and the business community. Nearly 70% of Quebecers are in favour of bringing the game back to Montreal. Among corporations, 81% support the return of Major League Baseball.
How does this kind of support translate into fannies in the seats? Leger Marketing found out that fans would be willing to pay $50 to see a ball game. Leger also forecasts an average attendance of 28,500 per game. Multiplied by 81 games a year, we are looking at a little over 2.3 million in attendance over the course of an entire season. Those are some great numbers in my opinion!
A lot of hard work has gone into bringing us this far but our work is not done. We’ve arrived at a very important stage in the journey to bring Major League Baseball back to Montreal. My next task is to find a champion.
A champion, or champions, is what it’s going to take to make this work. To put this in baseball terms, here’s how I see it:
I’d liken what we have done to mounting a late-inning comeback. We’ve scraped, battled, and chipped away at adversity. Montreal Baseball Project, the Board of Trade, the Montreal business community, and, of course, Montreal baseball fans, who’ve shown their support and passion right from the beginning, have loaded the bases.
So now, we are looking for a champion to emerge from the dugout. We need a power hitter to step up to the plate and bring everybody home. A big player who has the assets, the passion, and the integrity to make history. A champion who has the same dream I have. The same dream that millions of Montreal baseball fans have never given up on: the dream to bring Major League Baseball back to Montreal. And to bring the Montreal Expos back to life.
Somebody’s going to hit the home run that will be remembered forever. If you want to play the role of the champion in this story, I’m waiting for your call.
My ringtone is set to “Val-de-ri, val-de-ra.”