Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, businessman Stephen Bronfman pen letter to MLB teams

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, businessman Stephen Bronfman pen letter to MLB teams

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and prominent businessman Stephen Bronfman sent a letter to all 30 Major League Baseball teams to highlight the city as a prime candidate for a future club.

Coderre himself confirmed the letter was sent a few weeks ago in an interview with The Canadian Press on Thursday.

“It’s part of our strategy to prove we’re serious to all these people,” Coderre said. “It’s normal and natural to keep owners up to speed — they are the ones who’ll take the final decision.”

Coderre said the missive was the logical next step in a number of initiatives in recent months: meeting with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred in New York City and being present at a ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y. among them.

A senior MLB source confirmed the letter was aimed to “assure that everyone in the baseball world had the opportunity to know who was associated with the project and what they want to accomplish.”

The letter also outlined the most likely location for a new baseball stadium — the Peel Basin, south of downtown Montreal — as well as one of the investors who’d play a leading role in the return of baseball: Bronfman.

Bronfman’s name has circulated increasingly in relation to the eventual return of baseball, his name was recently raised in an interview by Michael Fortier, a former Conservative senator, who said that Bronfman and Coderre were leading the charge.

Bronfman is a former Montreal Expos shareholder who sued the league and Jeffrey Loria in 2002, following the sale of the Expos to MLB.

A source suggested the letter may have a secondary objective of repairing certain links.

“Some current owners still harbour resentment towards Mr. Bronfman,” said the source, saying he wasn’t surprised given some owners took exception to strong terms used against them during the legal proceedings.

Coderre described it as a letter from two men who love baseball and Montreal — and Montreal’s mayor said the Bronfman name was held in very high regard among some MLB owners he’s spoken to.

All teams were contacted, including the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics, both looking for new stadiums in which to play.

Frederic Daigle, The Canadian Press

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