It's been a while since the phenomenal success of the spring, when Montreal got its first taste of baseball in a decade. It was tremendous to have nearly 100,000 fans pack the Big O for Major League Baseball for the entire world to see. It lit up the city, and baseball became THE topic of conversation in Montreal.
I saw how old fires were rekindled, and how new grassroots were established at the game. Children who had never had the opportunity to watch a baseball game were now taking one in. Just like for many of us, it was the start of something special, a lifelong passion that lives on many years later.
It is disappointing to still hear doubts about what we accomplished, particularly from people who were part of the Expos organization for so many years. Some of them believe this idea of bringing baseball back is a long shot at best. I think they are out of touch, unaware of how much has changed. They are not in the city anymore, and are still stuck in another time, when things weren't quite right.
Overall, I am tremendously pleased with what has been accomplished in the last little while. If it were easy, it would have been done already, but we've put a lot of hard work into the project so far. The progress we have made has turned doubters into believers and I look forward to continuing this journey to make Montreal a big league city again.
Where we are now is right in the middle. We are in a holding pattern, doing what is required and what we can do behind the scenes, until the right opportunity to bring a team here presents itself.
One thing we are not planning to do is build a stadium without a team. We have to continue to approach this with patience, because this is what has put us in the driver's seat ahead of other cities that have shown an interest in Major League Baseball.
We will continue to celebrate Montreal's rich history of baseball, through galas and other events, to light a fire for the future from our successes of the past. We have a strong group that is doing some great work behind the scenes. We are gaining the trust of the public, and are proud to be ambassadors of baseball in Montreal. We are going full steam ahead from here, engaging various people and groups to ensure we keep moving in the right direction.
On July 12, Expos Nation will be making its presence felt at Citi Field in New York at the Mets-Marlins game, as part of its Expos Day initiative. It is an ambitious idea that deserves our support. It also reflects the type of effort we should be looking to make, given what we have accomplished and where we stand today.