Florida Senator Rick Scott (R) has heard of the Tampa Bay Rays plans to split their home games between Tampa and Montreal, and he is no fan of that proposal.
Speaking with TMZ journos after an appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Scott made it clear that he wanted the Rays to play all their home games in Tampa.
“I just wish them all to stay in Tampa,” Scott said.
“Look, Montreal is a beautiful city. I’ve enjoyed the times I’ve had the opportunity to visit there. But I hope Tampa spends all their time in Florida.”
MLB has already granted the Rays permission to start exploring the idea of splitting games between the two cities.
According to TMZ Sports, “Scott says he’s sat down with the Rays management team and says they made it clear they want a better stadium and a new location … but making that a reality is super challenging.
“As for the proposed two-city split, Scott says he understands WHY Montreal is pushing for the move — they’ve wanted an MLB team in town ever since losing the Expos back in 2004.”
Extremely low attendance has been a constant problem for Tampa Bay for years. According to MLB’s attendance report, the Rays have the second-lowest average attendance in the league at 14, 545. Nor did the problem subside when the team was good. For example, the Rays clinched a playoff berth in front of less than 18,000 people in 2010.
If the Rays gain approval for their proposal to split home games in Montreal, Tampa would start playing home games north of the border in 2024.
Follow Dylan Gwinn @themightygwinn