SPORTS

Blue Jays to play Mets in exhibition in Montreal: reports

09/10/2013 12:38 EDT | Updated 11/10/2013 05:12 EST
Major League Baseball is believed to be heading back to Olympic Stadium in Montreal.

The Toronto Blue Jays, according to several reports, will play their final two pre-season games next spring at the former home of the Expos against the New York Mets.

A news conference is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET Tuesday.

Montreal played to small crowds by the time the Expos were sold and moved to Washington to become the Nationals following the 2004 season.

Olympic Stadium hasn’t hosted a baseball game of any kind since Sept. 29, 2004 when the Florida Marlins defeated the Expos 9-1.

Blue Jays president Paul Beeston entertained the idea of bringing a spring training game to Montreal in April 2011 as part of the team’s approach to build a cross-country fan base.

How to bring the Big O back to major league standards is among the topics expected to be discussed Tuesday.

On July 20, about 1,000 Expos fans, hoping to attract the attention of MLB’s movers and shakers, packed into the outfield bleachers at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

The group wore the defunct club's traditional red, white and baby blue and held up signs promoting their cause.

"Our goal is to celebrate the history of the Expos and show that there is still a viable market for it," said Matthew Ross, who runs the website Expos Nation and helped organize the trip.

"We do everything we can to drum up nostalgia for the team and at the same time focus on the future."

About 200 people made a similar trek to Toronto last season.

The Montreal Baseball Project, a group founded a year-and-a-half ago by former Expos outfielder/first baseman Warren Cromartie, is a focal point of the renewed interest in the team.

At events around the city over the past year, Cromartie has made his sales pitch for bringing back baseball.

Tuesday’s announcement could bring back talk of Vancouver’s B.C. Place Stadium as a potential site for a pre-season game featuring Toronto and Seattle.

Andy Dunn, president of the single-A Vancouver Canadians, reportedly kicked the tires on such an idea two years ago in the middle of a $563-million refurbishment of the stadium, which is home to the Canadian Football League’s B.C. Lions and Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps.

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