Baseball investors want to build stadium in Peel Basin
Published Wednesday, February 13, 2019 10:01AM EST
Last Updated Friday, February 15, 2019 12:48PM EST
Stephen Bronfman and his Montreal Group, who want to bring a Major League Baseball team to Montreal, want to build a stadium in the Peel Basin in Point Saint Charles.
The land is currently owned by a federal Crown corporation, the Canada Lands Company.
Montreal radio station 98.5 FM reported Tuesday that Pierre Boivin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bronfman Investment Company Claridge, recently added their names to the Quebec Lobbyists' Registry.
He and Bronfman did not wish to comment since much remains to be done in this file.
The location is more than a 20-minute walk to either Bonaventure or Charlevoix stations, but the REM is supposed to build a station in the vicinity.
The Peel Basin stadium plans were drawn up by architect Etienne Coutu, working with Richard Bergeron and Projet Montreal back in 2013.
Boivin has described the location as by far the best site in Montreal due to its size, location and also the fact that it’s along the REM.
It is being reported that Claridge wants to enlist Quebec to help it secure the land, worth about $50 million, from the federal government through the Canada Land Company.
The city now has the right to make an offer on part of the land, so has a right to veto projects to a certain extent.
Mayor will take a careful look
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante said Wednesday that she would take a careful look at whatever proposal the group puts forward, and said she and her administration has been waiting for a proposal for a long time.
“Or course. I find it very interesting, but I don’t have a business plan or anything. But I will always be interested in working in partnership with the organizers, the promoters to look at that location or any other location and making sure I can share some of the preoccupations, aspirations and needs of that area,” said Plante.
Quebec Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon said he has yet to be contacted, but it open to seeing a proposal.
“Our involvement has to be less emotional, it has to be rational," he said. "I think we have to assess the return on investment together with how that will help our fiscal revenue."
National Assembly unanimously rejects idea
On Thursday the National Assembly passed a unanimous motion firmly rejecting the idea of spending any public money on a stadium in Montreal.
The motion said while the provincial legislature "hopes for and encourages the return of the Expos to Montreal", it makes it clear that it expects the private sector to foot the bill for baseball, and not Quebec taxpayers.
Quebec Solidaire MNA Vincent Marissal said he did not want to see a repeat of the Videotron Centre fiasco, where the provincial government helped fund an arena near Quebec City that sits empty almost every day of the year.