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Found 21 results

  1. No Pro Baseball in Montreal, and Little Hope of Any - The New York Times
  2. Publié le 29 octobre 2015 à 19h33 | Mis à jour le 29 octobre 2015 à 19h33 Retour des Expos: une lettre envoyée aux équipes de la ligue Frédéric Daigle La Presse Canadienne Le maire de Montréal, Denis Coderre, et l'ex-actionnaire des Expos de Montréal Stephen Bronfman ont fait parvenir une missive aux 30 équipes du Baseball majeur afin de mousser la candidature de la ville auprès de ses gouverneurs, a appris La Presse Canadienne. La lettre, envoyée il y a quelques semaines, présentait également l'option la plus probable pour le site d'un éventuel stade - le bassin Peel. Mise à jour Avec la venue probable d'une station du REM sous le bassin Peel, il semble de plus en plus probable que le futur stade éventuel des Expos serait construit au sud du bassin Peel entre les rues Wellington, Bridge et Mill :
  3. Construction d'un nouveau chalet par l'arrondissement dans le Parc Clémentine de la Rousselière (coin Notre-Dame et De la Rousselière à Pointe-aux-tremble). Il remplace l'ancien chalet (une sorte de maison mobile pleine de moisisure et en ruine qui a été démolie). Les deux principaux locataires seront l’Association du baseball amateur de Pointe-aux-Trembles (ABAPAT) et un groupe scout (155e).
  4. http://fr.canoe.ca/sports/nouvelles/baseball/archives/2011/02/20110215-011334.html
  5. Troisième prise pour Washington? Denis Casavant Dimanche 24 mai 2009 Au terme de la saison 1960, les Senators de Washington sont déménagés au Minnesota et ils sont devenus les Twins. Le baseball majeur avait déjà accordé une franchise d'expansion à la ville de Minneapolis - et une à la ville de Los Angeles pour les Angels -, mais le propriétaire des Senators, Calvin Griffith, avait demandé au baseball majeur de lui permettre de déménager son équipe au Minnesota et de donner la nouvelle équipe d'expansion à la ville de Washington. Un nouveau départ pour Griffith dans un nouveau marché et une équipe d'expansion avec de nouveaux visages pour les amateurs de baseball de Washington. Une solution gagnante pour tous. Les Senators n'avaient pas participé à la Série mondiale depuis 1933 et ils venaient de terminer au dernier rang de l'Américaine pour la quatrième fois en six ans. Au guichet, les choses n'allaient pas tellement mieux, puisqu'entre 1955 et 1958, les Senators ont attiré moins de 500 000 spectateurs pas saison au Griffith Stadium. Le changement de décor fut profitable pour le propriétaire puisqu'au cours des dix années suivantes, les Twins ont remporté 90 victoires ou plus à six reprises et ils ont participé aux séries trois fois, perdant la Série mondiale en 1965 face aux Dodgers de Los Angeles. Pendant ce temps à Washington, les nouveaux Senators ressemblaient étrangement à l'équipe qui venaient de quitter pour le Minnesota. Sur le terrain et au guichet, les résultats n'étaient guère mieux. Les amateurs ont eu droit à des saisons de 100, 101, 106 et 100 défaites au cours des quatre premières années. Pour ce qui est des assistances, elles étaient toujours décevante malgré le fait que les Senators avaient un nouveau domicile - le RFK Stadium - dès 1962. La deuxième version des Senators n'a connu qu'une seule saison gagnante en onze ans, alors qu'ils ont remporté 86 victoires en 1969 avec Ted Williams comme gérant. Trois ans plus tard, les Senators déménageaient au Texas et ils sont devenus les Rangers. La ville de Washington a du attendre 34 ans avant le retour du baseball majeur et c'est en 2005 que les Expos devenaient les Nationals. Au cours des trois premières saisons, les Nationals évoluaient toujours au vieux RFK Stadium qui avait subi quelques rénovations, mais les amateurs étaient de retour en grand nombre. Plus de 2,7 millions en 2005 puis 2,1 et 1,9 millions au cours des deux saisons suivantes. L'an dernier les Nationals ont emménagé dans un nouveau stade, le Nationals Park, qui fut visité par plus de 2,3 millions de spectateurs. Toutefois sur le terrain et à la télévision, les choses ne vont pas tellement bien pour les Nationals. L'équipe a perdu 102 matchs en 2008 et les cotes d'écoutes pour les rencontres à la télévision sont les pires du baseball majeur. On est même aller chercher l'ancien Nasty Boy des Reds, le releveur Rob Dibble comme analyste pour tenter d'ajouter de la couleur aux reportages! L'équipe n'a pas d'identité, n'a pas de couleur et surtout très peu de talent. Oui le troisième-but Ryan Zimmerman est un bon joueur, mais il n'est pas spectaculaire. Le gérant Manny Acta est fade. L'équipe est insipide. Les Nationals ont besoin d'un Tim Raines, d'un Vladimir Guerrero ou d'un Marquis Grissom. Ils ont Grissom, mais il est maintenant instructeur au premier coussin! Lorsque le baseball majeur a déménagé les Expos à Washington, on n'a coupé tous les liens avec la riche histoire de l'équipe. Les Expos avaient toujours eu des équipes avec de la couleur en commençant avec leur casquette tricolore et des personnages colorés comme Coco Laboy, Ron Hunt et plus tard Ron LeFlore, Rodney Scott, Bill Lee et Pascual Perez. Les Nationals n'ont pas encore d'histoire et surtout ils n'ont pas encore trouvé la bonne recette sur le terrain. Ils ont déjà perdu du temps avec un directeur général qui n'avait pas de plan en Jim Bowden. Ce dernier a été forcé de remettre sa démission avant le début de la saison. Les Nationals auront le premier choix lors du repêchage du 9 juin prochain et pour 50 millions ils pourront s'assurer les services du lanceur droitier Stephen Strasburg et sa balle rapide à plus de 100 miles à l'heure. Strasburg, représenté par l'agent Scott Boras, pourrait lancer dans les majeures avant le match des étoiles en juillet. Les Nationals devraient peut-être s'inspirer des succès des Capitals qui avaient fait d'Alexander Ovechkin leur premier choix en 2004. Il est maintenant, sans aucun doute, l'athlète le plus populaire en ville. Les Nationals ont besoin d'un Ovechkin, sinon ce sera peut-être une troisième prise pour le baseball majeur à Washington.
  6. Des concessions de la NFL et de la NBA seraient viables à Montréal Sports - Argent Écrit par Guy Madore Lundi, 04 janvier 2010 03:55 Mise à jour le Lundi, 04 janvier 2010 13:24 Montréal est l’une des villes nord-américaines les plus sous-représentées en équipes professionnelles et aurait « les reins assez solides » pour supporter de nouvelles concessions dans la MLS, la NBA, la NFL ou… le baseball majeur. Cinq ans après le départ des Expos, une récente étude réalisée par un groupe de publications économiques américaines – Bizjournals – révèle que l’agglomération montréalaise est l’un des marchés les plus propices pour le relocalisation d’une équipe ou l’expansion d’une ligue. Pour arriver à une telle conclusion, les auteurs n’ont cependant pas évalué la ferveur des amateurs pour un sport en particulier, la situation géographique, la disponibilité d’amphithéâtres, la volonté politique des divers paliers de gouvernement, l’intérêt de commanditaires potentiels ni les « préférences » des commissaires des circuits professionnels majeurs. Bizjournals a plutôt utilisé une valeur plus objective comme le revenu personnel total (RPT), soit la somme de l’argent gagné par tous les résidants d’une région donnée sur une période d’un an, pour statuer sur « l’attractivité » de divers marchés comme celui de la métropole québécoise. Des données de 2008 (Statistique Canada) montrent que le RPT de Montréal s’élève à 127,73 milliards de dollars (G$) – tous les montants sont en dollars américains. Capacité pour trois autres ligues En tenant compte des revenus des équipes et du prix moyen des billets, Bizjournals a pu déterminer le niveau de RPT nécessaire pour « supporter » une équipe de chaque ligue : Si l’on soustrait une somme de 37,3 G$ applicable à la présence du Canadien, Montréal disposerait encore d’un revenu personnel disponible (RPD) d’un peu plus de 90 G$. Assez pour ravoir une concession du baseball majeur. Ou pour accueillir une équipe d’expansion de trois ligues réunies (NFL, NBA et MLS). Il est bon de rappeler que cette analyse n’a pas considéré l’influence de deux autres formations de circuits « mineurs », en l’occurrence les Alouettes (LCF) et l’Impact (USL-1). Cette étude ne fera pas plaisir à ceux qui « plaident » pour le retour d’une équipe de la LNH à Québec. Le niveau du RPT (27,7 G$) de la Vieille Capitale ne serait pas suffisant pour « supporter » un club du circuit Bettman. D’un point de vue statistique, Québec ne pourrait accueillir que deux concessions… de la MLS. Baseball : marché saturé L’analyse de Bizjournals a porté sur 81 marchés aux États-Unis et au Canada qui disposent d’un RPT de plus de 25 G$ et sur Green Bay, au Wisconsin, le seul marché sous cette barre doté d’une équipe professionnelle majeure (Packers, NFL). Il en ressort que le baseball majeur ne pourrait pas élargir ses cadres à moins de s’établir dans le sud de la Californie (San Bernardino-Riverside), dans la région de New York (au New Jersey) ou à… Montréal. En contrepartie, c’est la MLS qui aurait l’embarras du choix pour implanter ses équipes d’expansion. Quarante-deux (42) marchés potentiels ont été identifiés, dont six au Canada : Calgary, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Ottawa, Montréal et Québec. Toronto a adhéré à la MLS en 2007 et Vancouver se joindra à cette ligue en 2011. Dix-huit (18) nouveaux marchés ont un RPT suffisant pour accueillir une concession de la NFL, dont Los Angeles qui est un choix logique. Parmi les villes « candidates », on retrouve trois autres agglomérations californiennes ainsi que Montréal, Rochester, Las Vegas et… Honolulu. Le Stade olympique a vibré au rythme des Alouettes, lors de la finale de l'Est le 22 novembre dernier. L'étude de Bizjournals laisse croire qu'il pourrait en faire autant, régulièrement, pour faire vivre une équipe de la NFL... ou du baseball majeur. Photo d'archives Rogerio Barbosa La NBA compte 17 marchés « inexploités », dont San Jose, Birmingham, Las Vegas et Montréal. Enfin, la LNH disposerait de 16 marchés potentiels, mais aucun situé au Canada. Las Vegas est encore en lice, tout comme Houston, Tulsa et Richmond. Pour consulter un tableau présentant les marchés « disponibles » dans chaque ligue, cliquez ici. Déficits de RPT L’étude de Bizjournals a aussi établi que plusieurs équipes évoluaient dans des villes ne possédant pas suffisamment de RPT. On en dénombre 17 dans la NFL, 13 dans le baseball majeur, 11 dans la NBA, neuf dans la LNH et seulement trois dans la MLS. Six marchés ont été identifiés comme ayant un déficit de RPT de plus de 45 G$ : Cleveland, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Pittsburgh et Tampa-Saint Petersburg.
  7. Avec les infrastructures sportives dont nous disposons, quel autre sport voudriez-vous voir le plus a Montréal? Baseball Football Basketball Autre quelqu'un peut m'aider a faire un sondage pour ca?
  8. http://www.ledevoir.com/sports/actualites-sportives/356928/la-casquette-des-expos-est-tres-tendance-chez-les-jeunes-nord-americains
  9. Politicians Smother Cities by John Stossel I like my hometown, but I must admit that New York has problems: high taxes, noise, traffic. Forbes magazine just ranked my city the 16th most miserable in America. Ouch! Of course, that makes me wonder: What's America's most miserable city? Cleveland, says Forbes. People call it "the Mistake by the Lake. " Cleveland, once America's sixth-largest city, has been going downhill for decades. Why do some cities thrive while others decay? One reason is that some politicians smother their cities with the unintended consequences of their grand visions, while others have the good sense to limit government power. In a state that already taxes its citizens heavily, Cleveland's politicians drown businesses in taxes. One result: Since 2000, 50,000 people have left the city. Half of Cleveland's population has left since 1950. But the politicians haven't learned. They still think government is the key to revitalization. While Indianapolis privatized services, Cleveland prefers state capitalism. It owns and operates a big grocery store, the West Side Market. Typical of government, it's open only four days a week, and two of those days it closes at 4 p.m. The city doesn't maintain the market very well. Despite those cost savings, the city manages to lose money running the market. It also loses money running golf courses — $400,000 last year. Another way that cities like Cleveland cause their own decline is through regulations that make building anything a long drawn-out affair. Cleveland has 22 different zoning designations and 673 pages of zoning guidelines. By contrast, Houston has almost no zoning. This permits a mix of uses and styles that gives the city vitality. And the paperwork in Houston is so light that a business can get going in a single afternoon. In Cleveland, one politician bragged that he helped a business get though the red tape in "just 18 months." Randall O'Toole, author of "The Best-Laid Plans: How Government Planning Harms Your Quality of Life, Your Pocketbook, and Your Future," says Houston does have rules, but they are more flexible and responsive to citizens' needs because they are set by neighborhood associations based on protective covenants written by developers. Politicians' rules rarely change because the politicians don't have their own money on the line. Cleveland's managers thought that funding gleaming new sports stadiums (which subsidize wealthy team owners) and other prestigious attractions like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would revitalize their city. Urban policy expert Joel Kotkin says, "This whole tendency to put what are scarce public funds into conventions centers and ... ephemeral projects is delusional." But politicians claim that stadiums increase the number of jobs. Not so, says J.C. Bradbury, author of "The Baseball Economist: The Real Game Exposed." "There's a huge consensus among economists that there is no economic development benefit to having these stadiums," he says. The stadiums do create jobs for construction workers and some vendors. But "it's a case of the seen and the unseen," Bradbury says, alluding to the 19th-century French economist Frederic Bastiat. "It's very easy to see a new stadium going up. ... But what you don't see is that something else didn't get built across town. ... It's just transferring from one place to the other. "People don't bury their entertainment dollars in a coffee can in their backyard and then dig it up when a baseball team comes to town. They switch it from something else." Stadiums are among the more foolish of politicians' boondoggles. There are only 81 home baseball games a year and 41 basketball games. How does that sustain a neighborhood economy? But the arrogance of city planners knows no end. Now Cleveland is spending taxpayers' money on a medical convention center that they say will turn Cleveland into a "Disney World" for doctors. Well, Chicago's $1 billion expansion of the country's biggest convention center — McCormick Place — was unable to prevent an annual drop in conventions, and analysts say America already has 40 percent more convention space than it needs. Politicians would be better stewards of their cities if they set simple rules and then just got out of the way. I won't hold my breath. John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "Give Me a Break" and of "Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at johnstossel.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at http://www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2010 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS, INC. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM
  10. I would buy the best seats I possibly could for sure!! Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/baseball/story/2011/04/06/sp-beeston-bluejays-montreal.html#ixzz1Inasrob6
  11. Les bâtons de baseball de l'entreprise B45 sont de plus en plus convoités. Il y a même quelques joueurs du baseball majeur qui utilisent les bâtons de bouleau jaune fabriqués par l'entreprise de Québec Pour en lire plus...
  12. mtlurb

    Expos de Montréal

    Expos gone, baseball alive in Montreal Aspiring baseball players and history keep sport going By Stephen Ellsesser / Special to MLB.com MONTRÉAL -- On a Sunday morning, the corridor between Pie IX Station and Olympic Stadium is almost completely deserted. Based on some of the crowds that came out to the Big O in 2004, the final season for Major League Baseball in Quebec, it almost seems the Expos never left. After touring Olympic Stadium, it's almost as if they were never there. Montréal, the world's most truly bilingual city, is known for its tolerance, but Stade Olympique may have walked away from the Expo-dus with hard feelings. Baseball in Canada's Sin City existed long before the Expos became the Washington Nationals, and today it lives on in many different forms, some nearby and some farther away, but hardly any of it at Olympic. A catcher, a piece of meat and a glorified Muppet form an interesting picture of the ville's offerings to the sport. Catcher Russell Martin is bringing back Dodger Blue to Montréal, giving the city another Major Leaguer to support, along with Eric Gagne, who won a National League Cy Young Award with the Dodgers, but now comes out of the bullpen for the Red Sox. Both played for the same high school, and both are among the greatest offerings to come from Baseball Quebec's feeder system, which remains strong, according to Gilles Taillon, the group's administrative director. "The actual departure of the Expos had no impact whatsoever," Taillon said. "The major impact was in 1995-97, when the Expos got rid of a championship team. We experienced a decrease in our membership mainly due to the bad publicity that baseball was getting in the media." In 1994, the strike-suspended season clipped an Expos club that was cruising along, on pace to win 105 games. The ensuing firesale disenchanted the fan base. The team parted with Marquis Grissom, Larry Walker, Delino DeShields and John Wetteland after the year, and the foundation began to crumble. By the time the Expos rolled into their final season, Montréal had lost all momentum, not to mention a considerable amount of local interest. After the Expos' fate was sealed, there was no last-minute spike of support. For the opener of the final series at the Big O, a crowd of 3,923 watched the home team fall to the Florida Marlins. The worst part? That was only the fifth-smallest turnout of the year. Yikes. "You really can't blame them with some of the decisions that were made," said former third baseman Tim Wallach of the fans who stayed away. "When fans follow guys and they have no chance of staying when it's time for them to get paid, that turns people off." The Expos succumbed to a combination of economic factors, all of which, Wallach said, slowly took hold after original owner Charles Bronfman sold the team in 1991. "I feel bad because there were a lot of people who loved that team," said Wallach, who played for the Expos from 1980-92. "It was good, and it should have been good for a long time. But it went bad, and now it will never be there again." Martin remembers fondly the Expos and their days north of the border. "It was different for me because I loved baseball," he said. "I could care less how big the stadium was or how many fans were there, as long as I was at the stadium. I grew up going to that stadium and watching the Expos, so that was a big thing." Montréal, with a metro-area population of 3.6 million, is large enough to support an MLB club, but what the area baseball community is most focused on is starting smaller. "For MLB to come back, it would have to go through the Minor League route first," Taillon said. "At this point in time, efforts are being made to bring a Can-Am League team in." The Can-Am League is an independent league composed of eight U.S.- based teams, one road team and one Canadian club, based in provincial capital Québec City. "It would be nice to see baseball back up there, but they would have to give it a better venue, a smaller stadium and more fan-friendly activities," Martin said. As for the piece of meat, sometimes life is stranger than fiction. On eBay, someone (Cirque du Soleil's founder, interestingly enough) paid $2,605 Canadian for what was billed as "The Last Hot Dog of the Expos," which was -- as one might expect -- a hot dog, which was almost a month old at the time of sale. All of a sudden the $2,100 sale price of Montreal-Expos.com looks like a bargain. "It was different there because there wasn't that many fans that loved baseball," Martin said. "But those that did love baseball, they were always at the stadium." Indeed. Nothing says loving quite like a thousand-dollar piece of processed meat. But the apocalypse is not upon us yet ... proceeds went to charity. Ignoring any discussions of shelf life, the Expo with the most staying power has been mascot Youppi!, who joined the rotation at Bell Centre, home of the Canadiens, Montréal's hallowed NHL franchise. Youppi! hit the ice just more than a year after his team's departure put him out of work. His presence, along with that of a banner honoring the Expos' 1969-2004 existence and the team's retired numbers, makes Nos Amours more visible there than at the Big O. The luxury condos that stand where Labatt Park -- the proposed downtown stadium that would have helped the franchise stay put -- would have been built are only a couple blocks away from Bell Centre, so it almost makes sense for it to feel closer to home. Where the sport thrives, however, is in Baseball Québec's tight infrastructure. The organization emphasizes getting kids involved early through two main programs, Rally Cap and Winterball, which is sponsored by MLB. In Rally Cap, players ages 4-7 are taught skills and techniques, being evaluated as they meet different performance targets. With each level advanced, they get a new hat of a different color. "Winterball," Taillon said, "is designed to provide gym teachers with plans to initiate students in grades 3, 4 and 5 to baseball." Prospective players are evaluated for Baseball Québec's high-performance leagues between ages 14 and 15. From there, it is Midget AAA and the Ailes du Québec program, the province's U17 team. Those who continue play in the ABC program in the fall and winter and the Elite League in the summer. Players at this level are at the top of their game, and many are either drafted or signed to play college baseball in the United States. Martin and Gagné are veterans of the ABC program. One player hoping to follow in their footsteps is James Lavinskas, a 20-year-old third baseman for the Montréal Elites, one of the only shows in town for baseball fans. A three-sport star in football, baseball and hockey at a Connecticut prep school, Lavinskas came up through the Elite League's feeder programs, and now he is heading to the United States for college ball. Lavinskas will play for Seminole State College in Oklahoma, following once again in Gagné's footsteps. "Guys are getting drafted every year," Lavinskas said, summing up his hopes after moving on from the Elite League. With Baseball Québec's work, the sport's foundation in Montréal is stabilizing, with or without Olympic Stadium's help. Aside from a single postcard and one or two minutes of a 30-minute tour, baseball's only other fingerprint on the facility stands right out front, a statue of Jackie Robinson. After signing Robinson, Branch Rickey sent him to Triple-A Montréal. On the road, Robinson was jeered just as he would be when he was promoted, but in Montréal, fans loved their star second baseman. Robinson batted .349 with the Triple-A Royals that season, leading the team to a 100-win season. During Robinson's final game with the team, fans gave him a standing ovation, and a second curtain call, amazing support for a black athlete in 1946. "The fans just chased him after the game because they loved him and didn't want him to go," Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame president and CEO Tom Valcke said. "Rachel Robinson once said, 'That must have been one of the first times a white mob was chasing a black man for a good reason.' Don't tell me Montréal has bad baseball fans. They've always been great." Even if baseball did not live on at Olympic Stadium, at least baseball left a marker of tolerance in its place, and that is worth more than a hall of jerseys and signed balls. Stephen Ellsesser is a contributor to MLB.com. Associate reporter Jayson Addcox contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. A ballpark that never was MONTREAL -- Labatt Park has had two deaths -- not bad for something that never actually existed. Condos now stand where the downtown park would have been built, and after the project was canned, the model of the park was passed to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. On one truly unlucky night in the Hall's archives, the model also met its destruction. "They just destroyed it, the two very troubled young men," said president and CEO Tom Valcke, recalling a day he said literally brought tears to his eyes. "It could have been a stagecoach or an old ping-pong table, but they wanted to destroy whatever got in their way that night." The 12-by-12 model, too large to be a regular fixture at the St. Marys, Ontario, museum, was in storage. Although a smaller Labatt Park model exists, the larger one (valued at $80,000 Canadian) was a sight to behold. "It was something -- one of the showstoppers in our collection," said Tom Valcke, director and CEO of the Hall. "I've never seen anything else like it, nothing before and nothing since. The detail -- individual seats, trees, all the concession stands -- it was beautiful." The model made an initial showing at the Hall, then Valcke put it away until a proper space could be created for it. Less than a month after the Expos franchise began its new life at RFK Stadium, two teenagers broke into the building where the model was kept and destroyed it, adding a bizarre and somewhat ironic twist to the life of the park that never was and never would be. Valcke said the Hall kept the pieces and that it could be reassembled, but that the task would be daunting and that it would be difficult to recapture the piece's original majesty. "We kept every single splinter of it," he said. -- Stephen Ellsesser
  13. Un complexe de luxe pour financer le retour du baseball à Montréal Pour financer le retour du baseball majeur à Montréal, un groupe secret d'hommes d'affaires envisage de construire un hôtel cinq étoiles, une boîte de nuit et une salle de spectacles. L'immense projet baptisé «le Littoral de Montréal» serait situé dans l'arrondissement du Sud-Ouest entre les ponts Champlain et Victoria. Destinées à «une clientèle ciblée», ses installations de luxe viseraient à financer le sport amateur ainsi que la construction d'un stade de baseball. Le projet est porté par l'avocat de Québec Guy Bertrand. Son désir de doter Montréal d'infrastructures sportives est connu depuis des années. Mais l'aventure est entourée de mystère. On ignore qui sont les bailleurs de fonds, même si l'avocat parle «d'investisseurs orientaux et internationaux». Guy Bertrand vient toutefois de mettre à jour son inscription au registre des lobbyistes, et de nouveaux éléments ont émergé, dont l'idée de financer un stade de baseball par un complexe de luxe. «Avant de se lancer dans la construction d'un stade et d'installations pour le sport amateur, il faut un projet rentable», a expliqué Guy Bertrand en entrevue. Selon l'inscription au registre, le complexe serait érigé en bordure du fleuve en cinq temps. Il comprendrait en plus du complexe de luxe, un stade de baseball, un centre sportif, un anneau de glace et peut-être un vélodrome. Le centre sportif serait doté de plateaux pour «par exemple le taekwondo, le judo, le ping-pong, note Me Bertrand. On a déjà été en contact avec des fédérations sportives et le but n'est pas de dédoubler ce qui se fait au Parc olympique, mais d'offrir des infrastructures qui n'existent pas ou qui doivent être améliorées.» La consultation du registre permet par ailleurs de découvrir l'identité d'au moins un des partenaires de Me Bertrand, la firme Scéno Plus. Cette entreprise de design montréalaise a notamment mené plusieurs projets d'envergure dans des casinos américains, comme la conception de salles de spectacles. Encore bien du travail à faire Mais le Littoral de Montréal est encore loin d'une réalisation. Et le retour du baseball à Montréal n'est pas pour demain la veille. Guy Bertrand précise ne pas avoir contacté le «Projet baseball Montréal» de Warren Cromartie. Le site envisagé est par ailleurs lourdement contaminé. Sa décontamination coûterait 100 millions de dollars. Me Bertrand entend d'ailleurs faire des démarches auprès du gouvernement fédéral pour obtenir des fonds publics, précisant que le reste du projet sera porté par des investisseurs privés. «La décontamination de ce secteur sera un enjeu important», reconnaît le maire de l'arrondissement du Sud-Ouest, Benoit Dorais, qui dit avoir vaguement entendu parler du projet de Guy Bertrand, même si aucune démarche formelle n'a été entreprise, selon lui. «Je suis maire de l'arrondissement depuis 2009 et j'ai vu passer trois projets de stade de baseball sur ce site», note-t-il. Guy Bertrand n'est pas pressé. "Ça fait cinq ans qu'on travaille sur ce projet et c'est du sérieux. On va y aller tranquillement, assure-t-il. Que ceux qui veulent se complaire dans la morosité s'y complaisent. Moi, je pense qu'il faut ramener le baseball à Montréal et peut-être même les Jeux olympiques. C'est possible.» http://www.lapresse.ca/sports/baseball/201308/23/01-4682468-un-complexe-de-luxe-pour-financer-le-retour-du-baseball-a-montreal.php
  14. Des plans déposés pour un stade de baseball à Montréal Source Après des années de tergiversations dans le choix d’un site, les dirigeants de Baseball Québec ont déposé, vendredi dernier, auprès du ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport, les plans d’un projet de construction d’un stade de baseball jumelé à un centre national d’entraînement. Les terrains ciblés pour l’érection de cette infrastructure sont situés aux angles des rues Bridge et Mill, aux abords du canal Lachine. Les lots sont propriétés de la Société immobilière du Canada et du port de Montréal, un secteur visé par de vastes travaux de rénovations immobilières. Les coûts préliminaires de ce projet admissible au Fonds de développement du sport et de l’activité physique frôlent les 50 millions $. La date limite pour soumettre une demande de subvention dans la phase II du programme était le 30 septembre. Environ le tiers du montant serait dépensé pour l’aménagement d’infrastructures, telles des routes d’accès, égoûts et autres. La Ville de Montréal pourrait être appelée à se présenter dans le rectangle des frappeurs! «Nous en discutons depuis cinq ou six ans, mais c’est la première fois qu’une demande concrète est déposée au gouvernement du Québec», a mentionné Maxime Lamarche, le directeur du marketing et des événements à Baseball-Québec. «Nous ne songeons pas à construire uniquement un stade de baseball mais un complexe multifonctionnel utilisable pendant douze mois par année. «En ventilant les prévisions de coûts, seulement la moitié des subventions nécessaires seraient consacrées à l’érection du stade.» Lamarche souligne que le baseball mineur connaît une croissance dans son membership depuis quelques années. «Nous avons noté une hausse des inscriptions de 7%, la saison dernière, et de 20% depuis quatre ans. «Nos programmes sport-études sont à l’étroit! On manque d’espace, que ce soit l’Académie de baseball du Canada (active au centre Claude-Robillard) ou tous les programmes d’écoles secondaires qui regroupent quelque 500 joueurs dans la province. » Baseball professionnel Selon les plans préparés par la firme d’architectes Tremblay, l’Écuyer et Associés et le groupe SM Ingénierie, le stade compterait entre 5000 et 6000 sièges. Le sport y cohabiterait avec le volet de spectacles en plein air et des aires communautaires seraient aménagées pour les activités de loisirs de ce secteur. Un club de baseball professionnel mineur serait donc le locataire principal du stade. Des intervenants et hommes d'affaires oeuvrent depuis plusieurs années pour implanter un club de la ligue CanAm dans la Métropole. Des sites à Longueuil, dans l’arrondissement de Verdun et deux sur la couronne nord avaient été scrutés. «Aucun stade pour le baseball professionnel n’a été érigé à Montréal depuis DeLorimier en 1928! Le baseball n’était pas la vocation première du parc Jarry ni du Stade olympique. «Selon moi, la CanAm s’avère une meilleure option que le baseball mineur affilié. Du niveau AA à Montréal, je n’y crois pas», tranche Lamarche, un ancien employé et joueur des Capitales de Québec. Les coûts d’acquisition d’une franchise mineure du baseball affilié ne sont plus à la portée de toutes les bourses. La semaine dernière, le club-école des Yankees de New York dans la ligue New York/Penn (ligue de recrues, courte saison), cantonné à Staten Island (banlieue de New York) a été vendu pour la somme de 11 M$ US.
  15. this is kinda old, but it's well written and pretty interesting from an 'historical' point of view, of sorts ... it's a 1999 washington post tourism piece, set in the context of a d.c. man visiting montreal, and going to a ball game "to see the team washington will probably inherit". it nicely highlights the city's unique attractions, all the while quite accurately summing up the general mood that surrounded baseball in montreal at the time. oh, and for extra sentimentality, read with in the background ... ----------------------------------- Montreal, Expos'd Visiting the City Whose Team Might Call D.C. Home By Mike Tidwell The Washington Post Sunday, July 11, 1999 Hundreds of crazed fans in this crowd of 5,000 foreigners begin standing and savagely slamming the backs of their chairs up and down, up and down to register their intense approval of what's going on on the playing field. The act creates sharp explosions of sound not unlike small-arms fire. The only people not banging chairs, it seems, are the sticky-fingered children eating deep-fried dough or forking strange mounds of fried potatoes laced with cheese and gravy. Suddenly, down on the field halfway through this "match," something bad happens for the home team. The French-speaking fans begin yelling at the mostly Spanish-speaking players: "Pourri! Pourri!" Rotten! Rotten! People whistle and blow long, booming plastic horns. I am, of course, taking in a major league baseball game in Montreal. I'm watching the pinstriped Expos on their home turf, a nine-inning experience that's perhaps the best multicultural adventure available to Washingtonians within easy flying distance of Reagan National Airport. It's a spectacle, a combination of God's two greatest inventions: baseball and international travel. As a junkie for both, I'm borderline apoplectic, immersed in fastballs and home runs, foreign billboards and surnames I can't pronounce. But a worrisome question nags as I sip my Molson: Do we really want these guys? Unless you're tone deaf to sports news, you probably know there's rampant speculation that the financially troubled Expos may move to the D.C. area. So I've come here as more than a sports tourist. I'm on a scouting mission, crossing the border for a sneak preview. I've already told my 2-year-old son, an emerging fan back in Takoma Park, that this is his team. He wears a tiny Expos hat when we play Whiffle ball in the back yard. But seeing this team firsthand reveals the naked truth: They're awful. Just now, an Expos batter strikes out on four pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies, triggering grumbles from the sparse crowd at Olympic Stadium. The team mascot--an orange and hairy something called "Youppi" (French for "hooray")--leads the fans in more chair-slamming fun, trying to keep a rally alive. The next batter runs the count full, teasing the fans, before popping out to the pitcher. More grumbles. The Expos have the lowest team payroll in baseball and some of the youngest players--and they are off to one of their worst starts in the team's 30-year history. Two nights ago, the players committed six errors in a single game. Again: Do we really want these guys? The answer, of course: Oui! Si! Yes! Please! Pretty please! Pretty please with whipped cream and a new, stylishly retro downtown stadium within easy walking distance of the Metro on top! Expos second baseman Wilton Guerrero steps to the plate as Youppi waves his hirsute arms wildly and the fans begin yelling things in French I can't understand. Guerrero, like the rest of the team, is in a terrible slump, and he falls behind in the count just as I come to a realization: Whatever happens in this game, I'll leave without regrets. If the Expos decamp for Washington, this will be the last summer to see French Canadian big-league baseball, a phenomenon worth catching before it goes, if for no other reason than it provides something found nowhere else in North America: minor league baseball with major league players. For anyone fashionably tired of big pro salaries, high ticket prices, arrogant players and the hassle of big crowds, the Expos offer the best of all worlds. I took a cheap Air Canada flight here, spent two days touring one of the world's great cities, and now I'm getting the farm league treatment: a tiny crowd, players barely old enough to shave, a crazy marriage proposal in the stands brokered by the mascot, and a wooden outfield scoreboard with numbers updated manually by teenagers. All this for the ridiculously low ticket price of less than $5 U.S. and a seat so close to the action that I can almost smell the pine tar. Guerrero bounces to second for an out, ending the inning. I do the only sensible thing. I order another Molson. My innkeeper in downtown Montreal, Madeline, says in accented English, "So what if the Expos leave town? There are many things fantastique and unique in Montreal besides just the Expos." She's right, of course, and during my two-day stay I'm determined see some "things fantastique" before hitting the ballpark. I begin by renting a mountain bike and pedaling straight to the top of Mont Royal, the dramatic, forested mountain (okay, a big hill) in the dead center of town that gives the city its name. A winding gravel road takes me through stands of Canadian maples to a beautiful summit park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. It's odd to stand at the grassy pinnacle and be eyeball to eyeball with the tops of skyscrapers just 10 blocks away. On the way down, pausing for great views of the lovely St. Lawrence River, I pass a pair of oddly segregated cemeteries--one for French speakers, one for English speakers--a site that mutely summarizes the long-festering cultural divisions within Quebec. I pedal to the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal, a 40-square-block delight of colonial structures and alleyways filled with horse-drawn caleches and itinerant artists. A warm spring sun has unloosed crowds of diners on the city's Euro-gamut of outdoor cafes, bistros and restaurants. The legendary French Canadian reputation for highly developed leisure skills is on full display this Sunday afternoon amid a sea of white tablecloths and red wines so good that even the vin de maison is a pretty sure bet. I eat grilled salmon served rare with escargots on a bed of scallions and garlic, and nearly swoon. The next day is game day. I visit the Old Fort on St. Helen's Island, in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, before heading to Olympic Stadium. After the War of 1812, the British prepared for a possible American invasion of Montreal by building this moated fortress with eight-foot-long cannons and two-meter-thick stone walls. As something of an invader myself, I grow slightly self-conscious inside those walls. Maybe I'm paranoid, but the eyes of those period-dress sentries make me think they're onto me, pegging me as the expeditionary fingertip of Washington's long arm reaching up to snatch the Expos. I make a discreet but hasty exit. I arrive three hours before the game, leaving plenty of time to tour the flag-festooned Olympic Park. I buy a ticket for the highly touted gondola ride rising from the spine of Olympic Stadium. Photos of the 1976 Games ornament the waiting area: Nadia Comaneci, Kornelia Ender, Sugar Ray Leonard. But I soon learn something unexpected about myself: Facing backward in a gondola rapidly moving upward at a 45-degree angle makes me afraid. At the top, pale and sweating, I take in a dramatic aerial view of the famous Olympic Village, the Montreal Botanical Garden and the city's 1967 international Expo site. Back on terra firma, there's time for one more stop: Moe's Deli and Bar, where Expos fans gather. It's a friendly place with exposed-brick walls, barbecued ribs and desserts kept in an old phone booth by the bar. It's happy hour--two-for-one Labatt beers--till well past game time, perhaps to anesthetize the fans for the poor play sure to follow. I sit at the bar next to Daniel, a baseball-hatted Expos loyalist, who has a message for D.C. fans. "Don't accept our Expos," he tells me. "You've lost two teams of your own before, so you know what it feels like. Please don't do this to us." I grimace and finish my second Labatt and push back my stool while Daniel, like all Montrealers I meet, remains a friendly sport to the end. "When you reach the stadium," he says, "buy the cheapest ticket in the house. It's only $7 Canadian [$4.80 U.S.]. Then, after the first pitch, sit wherever you want." "A $7 seat, please," I tell the stadium ticket seller moments later, handing over my money. I walk through the turnstile, past the popcorn and pennant venders, toward Section 139, right field. Virtually alone in my area, I take in batting practice amid thoroughly modern trappings: artificial turf, a space-age stadium roof, a gargantuan replay screen in center field. But already it doesn't quite feel like major league baseball. First, of course, there's the ticket price, about a quarter of what you'd pay at Camden Yards. Then there's the action on the field. An Expos coach is pitching batting practice using a wobbly shopping cart full of baseballs, and he's throwing to the beat of French rock music blasting over the P.A. Thirty feet below me, two teenage boys are standing on a crude scaffold, diligently updating a sprawling pre-World War II-type wooden scoreboard that gives results from around the league. This old-fashioned work, utterly exposed to those of us in the cheap seats, involves taking scores from a press-box official, then reaching into several wooden troughs for wooden slabs hand-painted with numbers and sliding them into the appropriate slot. One of them wears a felt Gatsby hat. I exit the stands for a quick pregame bite. "One order of poutine," I tell the uniformed attendant at a concession stand. Poutine, a uniquely Quebecois concoction combining french fries, cheddar cheese and beef-stock gravy, is so popular that it's served at McDonald's restaurants throughout the province. I watch the cook in back combine the fries and cheese in a tall paper cup, then slop on a ladleful of thick gravy from a stainless-steel vat. He pauses and then, momentarily indecisive, adds a second, heaping ladleful. I'm back at my seat in time for the national anthem, spearing dripping mouthfuls of poutine with a fork. For extreme junk food, it's not so bad, though halfway through the serving my stomach begins making odd noises that compete with the junior high school band playing "O Canada" with tubas and French horns on the field. The Expos take the field next, and the crowd, sprinkled more or less evenly across the stadium, begins banging empty seats up and down in preparation for the opening pitch. Twenty-five-year-old Expos pitcher Mike Thurman is on the mound, and as he warms up you can almost sense the whole place cringe. With an 0-2 record and an ERA of 8.05, he's the worst pitcher on the second-worst pitching staff in the National League. Just two nights ago, Expos pitchers gave up 17 runs in a game. But the first pitch from Thurman is a strike on the outside corner, and cheers go up just as the strange migration begins. True to Daniel's prediction, everyone in the stands not already seated behind home plate makes a beeline for amazingly choice (and empty) lower-level seats just 20 rows from the field (above a narrow VIP section) in an arc from dugout to dugout. I grab the rest of my poutine and join the exodus. By the end of the first inning, we fans are huddled cozily around home plate. In the third inning, the Expos stage a mini rally. Third baseman Mike Mordecai lines a clean single to left, and the juices start flowing in the stands. I get caught up in the excitement--this is my team, too--so I stand and begin slamming the back of my chair and cheer madly like those around me. The noise coming from these fans is, no exaggeration, as much as I've heard from crowds four times as big in other parks. Despite the high-decibel support, the rally sputters when Thurman strikes out trying to lay down a bunt. Next to me, a serious fan named Jean Yves Leduc is studiously scoring the game. He says he's attended at least 40 Expos home games every year for the past two decades. He puts down his scoring pencil and reminisces about highlights, including the 22-inning game against Los Angeles in 1987 and the time he shook hands with third baseman Tim Wallach in the parking lot before a game. "I could feel all the calluses on Wallach's hand from taking extra batting practice every day," Yves says. "I'll never forget those calluses. He was so dedicated to this team and to the game." And what will Yves do if the Expos leave town? "I had a talk with my girlfriend," he says, "and I decided that, with all my new free time, I would just go ahead and get married and have a life." It's the top of the fourth when Thurman makes a mistake pitch and Phillies right-fielder Bobby Abreu lifts a second two-run homer into left field. Four-zip, Philadelphia. "One more Phillies run," mutters the old farmer next to me after removing his teeth, whistling and putting them back in, "and I'm going home to watch hockey." Halfway through the fifth inning, Yves gets into an animated conversation with a hot dog vendor. It's all in French, and they both laugh a great deal, and I ask Yves what's so funny. "The crowd's so small tonight that the stadium is telling all the vendors--when they go back for more hot dogs--to go home. They're getting paid for only half a game. But this vendor's decided to avoid the order by not going back to resupply. That way, he can at least get his base pay for the rest of the game." Sure enough, the vendor walks away with a smile, barking to the crowd, "No hot dogs here! No hot dogs! Pas de chiens chauds!" Unexpectedly, the Expos make a heroic comeback with three runs in the seventh, while a young relief pitcher called up from Double-A somehow keeps the Phillies scoreless. By the bottom of the ninth, the drama escalates. The Expos are down 4-3 with two outs and a man on second. First baseman Ryan McGuire, who has power, steps to the plate. We may be few, but we fans do our best. Youppi claps his hairy orange hands and directs our cheers to the field. Chairs are banging. The vendor has stopped not selling hot dogs and is rooting like everyone else. The scoreboard guys are smoking nervously, peeping through a hole in the outfield scoreboard. The guy with the false teeth, true to his word, has stayed to the end. On a 2-1 pitch, McGuire lifts a towering blast to left field. We jump for joy and cheer louder and louder. But the Phillies's left fielder refuses to give up on the ball. He drifts back, back, back and, incredibly, makes the catch standing against the outfield fence. Five thousand people collapse in their seats in anguish and disbelief. It was a good game, and the young Expos have no reason to drop their chins. But there is something very sad about the way these previously boisterous fans shuffle slowly out of the stadium. An unusually large number stop and linger at souvenir stands by the exit gates. Souvenir. A French word meaning "to remember." For many of these fans, this may very well be the last time they see their Expos. They buy hats, T-shirts, pennants. To remember. I take the Montreal Metro back to downtown thinking two things. First, I sincerely hope Montreal figures out a way to keep its team, and prosper, even if it means we in D.C. don't get one. Second, if the Expos do come to us, I can't wait for the day when I can take the Washington Metro to a baseball game with my son. I'll really show him how to make a stadium chair hum. ----------------------------------- :rolleyes:
  16. Un article intéressant sur portfolio.com que j'ai trouvé sur skyscraperpage.com. Selon cet article et selon les revenus personnels disponible (API), Montréal serait, avec Riverside, les deux seuls villes capables de faire vivre une nouvelle équipe de Baseball... Et Montréal se classerait 3ème en Amérique du Nord pour attirer une franchise de la NFL ... Extrait de l'article Just two markets currently outside of MLB have income bases sufficiently large to join its ranks: Riverside-San Bernardino, California, and Montreal. And the latter is tainted because it lost a baseball franchise, the Expos, to Washington five years ago (the Expos were renamed the Nationals). La charte pour tous les sports http://www.portfolio.com/resources/SportsChart.pdf L'article: http://www.portfolio.com/industry-news/sports/2009/12/04/how-cities-rank-for-potential-sports-expansion/index1.html
  17. Des bâtons québécois Mise à jour le samedi 26 juillet 2008 à 14 h 55 Le partage de signets permet d’archiver, d’organiser et, bien sûr de partager des signets (ou favoris) de pages Web. Il suffit de sauvegarder les liens des pages Web que l'on veut retrouver facilement ou partager. Cliquez sur un de ces liens pour ajouter notre article à votre liste. L’accès aux sites proposés est gratuit, mais vous devez être inscrit. C'est à Québec que la compagnie B45 fabrique des bâtons de baseball depuis cinq ans. Quatre personnes travaillent dans le petit atelier. Chaque semaine, on y fabrique plus de 125 bâtons. « Le bois arrive toujours dans une forme de cylindre. Dans le fond il y fait 2 ¾ po (7 cm) de diamètre sur 37 po (94 cm) de long. Après ça, on le transforme en bâton ici. Une fois sablé et fini, il ne reste que la finition », explique le directeur technique de B45, Olivier Lépine. « Les joueurs sont en amour avec ces bâtons-là. Ce sont des bâtons qui ne brisent pas beaucoup », souligne Maxime Lamarche, qui jouait avec les Capitales de Québec lorsque l'équipe a décidé d'opter pour les bâtons de B45, il y a 3 ans. Et ils sont de plus en plus populaires. Quelques joueurs du baseball majeur ne peuvent plus s'en séparer. « Un des premiers qui a utilisé nos bâtons, ça a été Luis Castillo, qui a joué longtemps avec les Twins et qui joue maintenant avec les Mets. Il y a aussi David Murphy, une recrue des Rangers du Texas. Puis, il y a Melvin Mora qui joue avec les Orioles. Vu qu'il frappe bien, il a convaincu deux joueurs de son équipe », poursuit fièrement Lépine. D'autres joueurs pourraient bientôt se convertir aux bâtons en bouleau, une idée de deux ingénieurs québécois, car le baseball majeur envisage d'interdire les bâtons en érable, qui se brisent de façon dangereuse. « On aimerait peut-être changer de locaux, avoir une plus grosse usine, pour produire plus de bâtons en une journée et être capable de répondre à la demande », conclut le directeur technique. B45 a déjà vendu plus de 5000 bâtons cette année, contre 3200 à pareille date l'an dernier. L'entreprise devrait avoir beaucoup de pain sur la planche au cours des prochains mois.
  18. Cutting to the chase Sean Fitz-Gerald, National Post Published: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 TORONTO -- If he had told the truth while walking into that south Florida bar that winter, in 1969, nobody would have stopped to listen. So Paul Godfrey lied, just a little, and introduced himself to the commissioner of Major League Baseball as a councillor from Toronto - and not from nearby North York, where he actually worked. Then he asked for a baseball team. "Son, where are we going to play?" Bowie Kuhn asked back. "Sir," Godfrey said, "you give us a team and we'll build you a stadium." Kuhn, with his imposing 6-foot-5 frame, put a hand on Godfrey's shoulder. "Son, let me tell you the way we do it in Major League Baseball," he said. "First, you build us a stadium, then we'll decide if we want to give you a team. Nice meeting you." After plenty of negotiation and a bit of luck, the Toronto Blue Jays staged their first regular-season game at Exhibition Stadium eight years later. And by the mid-80s, Godfrey had turned his attention to the NFL, shaking hands and making friends with the league's power brokers. Today, it is Godfrey's employers at Rogers Communications who have taken up the chase, and Godfrey's employers who are faced with the same stadium-related questions for football that the former councillor faced for baseball. Rogers Centre is too small for the National Football League. Its seating capacity has been set at about 54,000 for an upcoming eight-game series featuring the Buffalo Bills, placing it firmly behind each of the league's existing 31 stadiums in terms of size. Renovations are a possibility, but would not be executed without complication. If a new facility is deemed to be the answer, then where would it be built? And who would pay for it? Ted Rogers and Larry Tanenbaum had to navigate a number of obstacles just to secure the series, and the stadium issue is still only one in a line of hurdles stretched out between them and the finish line of their quest to land their own NFL team. There are politicians on both sides of the border who would want to be heard before the relocation of any team; there are the NFL owners who would have to be convinced the time is right to move beyond the U.S. borders; there are other, American billionaires who would likely join in the bidding for any available team; and then there is the Canadian Football League, which would loudly protest any further encroachment onto its turf. "Getting a franchise, it's like getting the games here," Rogers vice chairman Phil Lind said. "It's extraordinarily complicated." Rogers Communications will pay $78-million to lease eight games from the Bills over the next five NFL seasons. And there has been rampant speculation the move eventually could become permanent. Sports investment banker Sal Galatioto, president of Galatioto Sports Partners, was asked why Toronto does not already have its own NFL franchise, despite decades of lobbying. "There are a bunch of reasons," he said. "One is Toronto doesn't have a stadium that really is NFL-ready, that meets NFL specs. That's a big problem. And it's like the chicken and the egg - unless you have the building, it's difficult to entice an NFL team to move there, but you don't want to build a building not knowing if you're going to have a team." Rogers Centre, formerly known as SkyDome, opened in 1989 at a cost of $578-million. It was overshadowed just three years later when Camden Yards opened in Baltimore, unleashing a new wave of stadium architecture, which favoured the quaint and the retro over the futuristic feel of the concrete and steel dome. SkyDome was sold to Rogers four years ago for just $25-million. Some feel the stadium could be renovated to house an NFL team by, among other things, digging and lowering the floor. The obvious conflict that would arise, though, is how the construction schedule might interfere with the Blue Jays, the stadium's primary tenant - and another of Rogers' holdings. According to NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, the league does not have a minimum size requirement for stadiums. But the smallest facility, Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears, holds 61,500 fans, 7,500 more than Rogers Centre. Opinions vary about where a new stadium might be built. There would seem to be some potential along the water just east of downtown, but the lack of public transit and room for added traffic flow has ruled it out for some. Downsview Park, in the city's north end, has often been cited as prime real estate, but Liberal Member of Parliament Joe Volpe vaguely suggested there was "some maneuvering" that might rule out its candidacy. "Probably the best place - and it was the best place 30 years ago when they were talking about the SkyDome - is Downsview," Volpe said. "And the second-best place is just past Canada's Wonderland." Building a new stadium is not cheap, but some believe the Toronto group might be able to avoid asking for public money by selling personal seat licences. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is reportedly charging as much as US$150,000 for a PSL - which only really gives a fan the right to buy tickets - in his new, US$1.1-billion stadium. Private financing might be the only way to proceed in Toronto. "When SkyDome was built, Metro Toronto put in $30-million, because at that time, the municipality had felt there was a need for a major sports centre," Toronto Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone said. "There's no political will in this town, that I'm aware of, to basically subsidize an NFL team in Toronto by putting taxpayers' money in it." "It'd be tough," Volpe said. The same could be said of the competition to land an NFL team. Ralph Wilson founded the Bills for US$25,000 in 1959, and has indicated the franchise will be placed up for auction after his death. Wilson turns 90 this fall, and Forbes values the Bills at US$821-million. "When an NFL team comes on the market, Ted Rogers is great - he's a bidder, but not necessarily the winning bidder," Galatioto said. "There are other people just as wealthy as he is, if not wealthier, who want an NFL team." Galatioto suggested the Bills could have more than a half-dozen wealthy suitors, from those who might want to keep it in Western New York to those who might want to return the league to Los Angeles after an absence of more than a decade. "You're going to have a lot of interest around the Bills," he said. "Believe me, there are a lot of people who ask me that same question: Some people interested in keeping it in Buffalo; some people interested in the dream of L.A.; some people talking about Toronto. The Bills are a big, hot topic." Especially in Western New York, where the NFL acts as one of the region's final ties to the national spotlight. Senator Charles Schumer is reportedly scheduled to meet with Wilson and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at training camp this summer, seeking to ensure the team's future in Buffalo. Other politicians have made their voices heard, and only on the mere speculation the team might be in danger of moving. The Toronto consortium would face headaches at home, too, where B.C. Lions president Bob Ackles has pledged to make as much noise as possible in defence of the CFL. Senator Larry Campbell, a former Vancouver mayor, recently tabled a bill that would ban the NFL from playing regular-season games in Canada. "I do believe in the tradition of the Canadian Football League," Godfrey said. "And it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that there are ways that both can survive. I really believe that the CFL can not only survive, but I think with the co-operation between the two leagues, it can put teams in cities that they're not in today - possibly Quebec City, Halifax." According to Rogers Communications, though, the Southern Ontario market is NFL territory. "The NFL owners have to cross the threshold and decide whether they are international, or whether they are just American," Lind said. "And they lose a certain amount if, say, Toronto or Moose Jaw gets a franchise. They gain a lot, too, because there's a huge market in Canada that would be energized way more than it is right now." Godfrey, who started the chase more than 20 years ago, is admittedly not in the foreground of the most recent pursuit, focusing on his role as president of the Blue Jays while Rogers, Tanenbaum and Lind lead the hunt. But even from the background, he claims he can still see the finish line. "A team is coming here," Godfrey said. "Can I predict whether it will be two years, or six years, or 10 years? I can't. I have no inside information, but I do know the NFL wants to go global, and it's the only sport that has not gone North American - never mind global."
  19. Revisiting Drapeau's personal Versaille Alan Richman, National Post Published: Friday, January 25, 2008 Story Tools Gordon Beck/Canwest News Service The Olympic Stadium adds grandeur to a part of Montreal that is woefully lacking in it, even if it is too large and impractical for just about every sport, including baseball, the sport played there ... Having once worked simultaneously as both the sports columnist and the restaurant critic for the long-defunct Montreal Star - employing a sportswriter as a restaurant critic might well have contributed to its demise - I am used to my commentary being greeted with derision from numerous walks of life. Nothing I said then might equal the mockery I anticipate from what I am about to say now. I take a deep breath. I ask: Is it possible that the Montreal Olympic Stadium, built for the 1976 Games, is an enduring work of art? I have always loathed the stadium, but not for esthetic reasons. I have hated it for far longer than is healthy for a man to despise an inanimate object, entirely because of what the stadium represented: Greed. Extravagance. Envy. Pride. That's more than half the original seven deadly sins. I don't include gluttony, simply because I recall the smoked meat sold during athletic events as being ordinary. I disliked the stadium because of the considerable pain and suffering it caused the city and the province. It infamously cost about $1-billion, and we're talking 1970s dollars. It was wrong for the climate, forever showing water stains, like a suede jacket worn in the rain. It is no longer utilized in winter, because engineers worry it might not be able to withstand the weight of a significant snowfall. It's too large for just about any legitimate sports event except the opening and closing ceremonies of an Olympic Games. The one sport that was played there most often, professional baseball, didn't fit. Famously, the retractable roof never worked properly. The space was finally covered with some kind of hideous fabric. It reminds me of a tarp thrown over a sports car parked out of doors. I have one fond memory of covering an event there. I was standing in line for free food in the press room during the 1976 Olympics. Mick Jagger was in front of me, wearing a lime-green suit with a cigarette burn in the shoulder, looking like a guy who needed free food. A few days later he would send a note down to the field during the women's pentathlon, trying to meet Diane Jones, a member of the Canadian team. I left Montreal in 1977, a year after the Olympics had nearly bankrupted the province of Quebec, so the problems that kept popping up were no longer of concern to me. I stopped covering events, except as an occasional visiting sportswriter. I no longer paid income taxes to the province, so I stopped feeling cheated by the cost overruns. My bad attitude lingered on, though. In 1975 and '76, when I was the sports columnist for the Star, I had written often and angrily about the abuses that were permitted - I should say promulgated - by the city government. I recall being consumed with outrage when two workers died in an accident on the job, and Mayor Jean Drapeau justified the deaths by pointing out that in construction-deaths-per-dollar-spent, the stadium lagged behind virtually every other major project. From then on, I was in a rage. I couldn't really decide whether the mayor or the stadium was the more irrational piece of work. I shouldn't have blamed the government for everything. Let's not forget the unionized workers who built the place. Knowing of the alarmingly tight deadline, they responded with strikes, walkouts and protests. When those led to a crisis, they demanded more money for having to work so hard. The stadium was so impractical, so ridiculous and so wrong-headed that I never considered the possibility that it might be beautiful. Drapeau had it built by French architect Roger Taillibert, calling his works "poems in concrete." To me, the stadium was blank verse. Drapeau was no longer at the peak of his powers when he commissioned it. He was out of touch with practicality. But he was also something of a visionary, successor to the French profligates who built the great tourist attractions of France. The Olympic Stadium was his Versailles. A few months ago, on a visit to Montreal, I was driving through the eastern part of the city in search of a trendy restaurant: Nothing trendy ever happened in the eastern part of Montreal when I lived there. I drove past the stadium. It was sunset, and it seemed to glow. I was caught up in the gracefulness of its sweeping, melodious lines. I thought it was stunning, capable of taking flight. Others have called it a toilet bowl. Writer Josh Freed once said, "It killed the Olympics. It killed baseball and city finances. Please, let's take it down before it kills again." My old pal Mike Boone, who worked with me on the Montreal Star and is now city columnist for the Montreal Gazette, recently reminded me that baseball players never liked it, either. He recalls Ross Grimsley, a pitcher who once won 20 games for the Montreal Expos, telling him, "I was looking for the locker room. I walked a hundred miles, down corridors that didn't lead anywhere." Boone calls the stadium "a bidet with a dildo attached to it." I now think of it as Starship Drapeau. I risk being thought as addled as Drapeau when I say this: shortsighted, all of them. To be fair, even Boone concedes that if you drive up to the eastern lookout on Mount Royal, park your car and look east when the stadium is lit up, it does look lovely at a distance. I don't know if this entered into Drapeau's thoughts, but that part of Montreal is woefully lacking in grandeur, and the stadium provides what little there is. Drapeau believed that great cities needed spectacular monuments. He had wanted a symbolic structure built for his enormously successful Expo 67, but never got the building because it would have cost too much: $22-million. That's about a 50th of what the Olympic Stadium finally cost. Had he been successful in the '60s, the Montreal Olympics might not have been such a fiscal tragedy in the '70s. Of course, the stadium has been a disaster. It remains one. In 1991, a 55-ton concrete beam fell, not killing anybody, an unexpected break. In 1997, the province spent about $40-million for a new roof that was supposed to last 50 years. It soon ripped. Canadians should start thinking of the stadium as a great old pile. Sure it's obsolete, drafty and ruinous. So are castles in France. But if it hadn't been so terrible, it wouldn't be nearly so fascinating. http://www.nationalpost.com/life/story.html?id=264191
  20. entrevue du 17 décembre 2007 LeStudio1.com- Vous travaillez aussi sur un projet d'équipe de baseball à Montréal? Paul Delage Roberge Oui et le nom sera: "Les Royaux de Montréal" Mon partenaire Marc Griffin et moi, travaillons depuis 18 mois déjà à amener une nouvelle équipe de baseball à Montréal. Nous sommes à finaliser une entente avec la Ville de Montréal pour la construction d'un stade de baseball de 5000 sièges et faire revivre Les Royaux de Montréal. Nous avons acquis le nom Les Royaux de Montréal par l'entremise d'un grand amateur de baseball et partenaire dans le projet, Benoit Langevin. Les négociations pour le terrain sont commencées depuis plusieurs mois et le site de construction est choisi. Il est nécessaire de finaliser une entente prochainement afin de pouvoir commencer la construction du stade au cours de l'été 2008 en vue d'être prêt pour la saison 2009. Ensuite notre travail sera de faire l'acquisition d'une franchise de baseball dans la ligue Can-Am. Les Capitales de Québec font partie de la ligue Can-Am et la nouvelle franchise d'Ottawa sera la deuxième équipe canadienne. Cette ligue offre de l'excellent baseball à un niveau de jeu équivalent à du baseball double AA. Les négotiations sont très avancées avec le commissaire de la ligue, monsieur Myles Wolf. Avec la venue des Royaux de Montréal, une belle compétition va se créer entre les 3 équipes canadiennes. Une Société sans but lucratif sera établie afin de redistribuer les profits à Baseball Québec et aux différentes associations sportives dans le but de promouvoir le baseball et le sport chez les jeunes Québécois. Source: http://www.lestudio1.com/Roberge.html