Rays to advertise Montreal plan with sign at the Trop during postseason
The Tampa Bay Rays are adding a sign to the back wall of Tropicana Field for the postseason to advertise their plan to split home games in future seasons between Florida and Montreal.
Team president Matt Silverman announced the plan on Saturday's "This Week in Rays Baseball" radio show, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
"We’re going to add a sign in the right field foul territory with a very simple Tampa Bay Montreal graphic," Silverman said. "Especially with the eyes of baseball on us this October, we want that visible symbol of our plan and our excitement for it. It will mark the effort subtly and keep the focus on winning."
While the plan hasn't officially been put in place, Silverman said it's the best path forward to keep baseball in the area.
"We believe in our sister-city plan; Major League Baseball believes in it fully," Silverman said. "It’s the best and possibly only chance for baseball to be here for generations. That’s been our sole focus. It’s never been about other markets and relocation overtures. It’s always been about how we can make it work here."
If adopted, the current plan involves new open-air stadiums being built in both locales. The Rays would host games from spring training through early June before home contests move to Montreal for the rest of the year, with postseason home games likely rotating by season, Topkin notes.
The proposal was originally introduced in 2019. While it received support from the league, it has drawn criticism from the players' union.
The Rays are committed to playing their home games at Tropicana Field through the 2027 season, which is when their current lease expires.