Bases Bloated: Who’s paying for the stadium?
*this post is co-authored by my brother aka Seth Galina
Montreal. What a city. You know we used to have a baseball team here? Remember how in 1994 we almost won the World Series but didn’t and now we won’t shut up about it even though it’s been over 20 years? So here we are in May of 2016 and as per usual there’s talk about bringing back the Expos. It’s been happening since 2005 when the Expos became the Nationals. It goes like this:
Media guy 1: Montreal is a hockey town.
Media guy 2: You’re telling me that if the Expos came back, we wouldn’t see sell out crowds?
Media guy 1: Oh we would, Réjean, but we need a new stadium.
Media guy 2: They should build a new ballpark downtown.
In the distance an underpass crumbles*.
We want a team. If the Expos came back we would root for them. There are issues, though. If you live in Montreal, you know that the Olympic Stadium is in the middle of nowhere. Sure, it’s Metro accessible – we see you station Pie-X – but it’s also old and needs a roof. Not just any roof**, one that does roof things like not fall on your head when you’re trying to watch a game. Everyone says we should build a new stadium downtown to host the team that doesn’t exist yet. If you build it, ils wont venire***. But who pays? Not Mexico. We do.
When the city isn’t under construction, it’s about to be. There’s always somebody getting a kickback from somewhere to start work on a decrepit part of the Décarie Expressway. Remember the whole Super Hospital nonsense? That thing is finally built. So, imagine how long it would take to build this mythical ballpark in the middle of downtown. Then, imagine us the taxpayers having to pay for it and all the corruption and politicking that’ll go on as the stadium is being constructed. SNC-Lavalin anybody?
Since 2014, the Toronto Blue Jays have been playing two spring training games at the Olympic Stadium. The crowds are huge and it gives people false hope that Montreal can support a team again. Play all the spring training games in Montreal that you want. Move the Rays here. Put them in the National League. Change their name to the Smoked Meats but don’t make us pay for the ballpark. The Big O took 30 years to pay off. Do you really want to spend another 30 years paying off Parc Cuir Dimitri****?
We’re not saying Montreal doesn’t deserve another baseball team but we’d really like not to have to pay for a stadium again. If our taxes are going anywhere it should be towards ensuring that Simple Plan never releases an album again.
*Montreal is falling apart. Infrastructure (or the lack thereof) is a major issue of contention for the people who live here and have to drive to work.
**The roof on the Big O was messed up.
***Ils vont venire is They will come in French.