ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – The Tampa Bay Rays are exploring a plan that would allow them to play some home games in Montreal, the organization appears to have confirmed.
The ESPN report says Major League Baseball’s executive council gave the Rays permission to explore the two-city split this week. The plan would be for the Rays to play home games in Tampa Bay early in the season and play the rest of the home games in Montreal, sources told ESPN.
According to the report, the sources say Tampa Bay has embraced the plan as the “most feasible” option to save baseball in our area.
Shortly after the ESPN report surfaced, the Rays organization released a statement from Principal Owner Stu Sternberg on Twitter.
“My priority remains the same, I am committed to keeping baseball in Tampa Bay for generations to come,” the statement says. “I believe this concept is worthy of serious exploration.”
Last year, the Tampa Bay Rays revealed a design for a ballpark they hoped to build in Ybor City after years of low attendance at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. The new stadium deal was declared dead in December.
The Rays have suffered a steady decline in attendance for years now. Earlier this month they attempted to draw larger crowds by offering 5,000 tickets to five home games for just $5. Only two of those games sold out.
This is a developing story, please check back for updates.