Kire Schneider Online

Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Father of American Liberalism

Friday, September 26, 2014

Bill Lee= Who Killed the Montreal Expos




To put it simply what killed the Montreal Expos was lack of support. Lack of support from the fans by the late 1990s they were drawing 5-10K fans a game for their home games. And Expos fans might say that the team wasn’t very good, but when you're only drawing 5-10K fans a game and you do not even have local media contracts like TV and radio, its hard to have the resources to put good teams on the field.  
But even with the lack of support from the City of Montreal and the Province of Quebec, Montreal was a solid, but never a great baseball market in the late 1970s and 1980s and to a certain extent in the 1990s. But by the late 1990s when you are only seven thousand fans a game with is a AAA minor league crowd, you aren’t going to have the resources to compete with the big clubs that are consistent winners who are drawing thirty thousand a game or more like the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves to use as examples.
Then you throw in the fact that the Expos were basically stuck playing their home games in a football stadium that was built for the 1976 Summer Olympics, that held sixty five thousand fans after moving from a baseball park in Jarry Field, you are now playing in a big stadium where people do not want to go to watch baseball. But would go to watch Canadian football and rock concerts. 
But not a very good baseball environment where the seats were far away and where people in Montreal had better things to do and you add that baseball is probably the third or fourth most popular sport in Montreal behind hockey of course, but football and even soccer, the Expos weren’t built to last at least in Montreal Olympic Stadium. Had they ever gotten a real ballpark that seated 35-40 thousand fans and had a management that was committed to winning and staying in Montreal and spending money, but spending money wisely, the Expos are probably still in business today.