The final tour of our baseball season ended one week ago today. As usual, it was a great group and the trip created many lasting memories such as my having to “lift up the hatch” at Citi Field and the interesting people that some of our travelers took pictures with at Times Square.
However, the most interesting tidbit of baseball information came while I was speaking with someone who works in the front office for one of the teams we visited on our tour. During the conversation, he/she matter of factly stated that the Tampa Bay Rays are going to be relocating to Montreal. I didn’t ask the specifics of when (I wish I would have) but it was an interesting conversation.
I am purposely not going to name the team or gender of the worker, for I don’t want this particular front office worker to get into any trouble if this is news that shouldn’t be made public yet (and I know it shouldn’t be) but I will explain what transpired to get us onto this topic:
We arrived at the ball park and parked the bus. The gentleman who is in charge of bus parking asked for our ticket, but I notified them that this had already been taken care of through the team ticket office. He said it was fine. However, whenever you lead a group of 50+ travelers anywhere, you don’t want to be “fine.” You want to be 100% sure so I walked to the ticket office (after distributing game tickets to all of our travelers) and asked them about it. The regular workers were unsure so they asked their supervisor, which led to that person’s supervisor coming down.
I explained the situation and that person apologized for the inconvenience and actually walked with me back to the parking lot to make sure we were 100% set. As we were walking to the bus/parking lot, we engaged in small talk as people often do in situations like this and we got onto the topic of why my group was here: baseball tours. I said that I have taken groups to every stadium in the United States but have always been concerned about taking people to a Blue Jays game in Toronto, as that’s the only MLB ball park in which I have yet to see a game.
That’s when he/she said, matter-of-factly, that there is going to be another Canadian team, as the Tampa Bay Rays are set to move to Montreal. He/she said that this obviously isn’t public knowledge yet, but it’s pretty much a well known secret inside front offices around baseball.
Needless to say as a baseball fan, I was quite flabbergasted. I did ask, “Are you sure?” and the response was the same as the first time in terms of it’s a done deal. It will happen.
I have researched this a bit and see that it probably can’t/won’t happen next season, as Montreal would need to build a new ball park, yet this will be an interesting scenario to follow. With two Canadian teams in the future (one being in a new ball park), I had better get over excluding Canada on future tours due to border crossing concerns. Don’t be surprised if you see Toronto on a tour next summer (schedule will be officially released in mid/late-September). I know my repeat customers who have been on many tours with us will be happy with that news and I am excited about a potential new ball park in a couple of years (in addition to Atlanta in ’17).