Montreal mayor wants some MLB regular-season games in 2016

Denis Coderre

NEW YORK (AP) — The mayor of Montreal has asked Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred to consider playing three or four regular-season games in the city next year.

Mayor Denis Coderre met with commissioner Manfred in New York on Thursday. Coderre says six or seven teams have expressed an interest in playing there in 2016.

Montreal had the Expos from 1969 through 2004. The team then moved to Washington and became the Nationals.

A pair of exhibition games in Montreal between the Blue Jays and Reds in early April drew a total of more than 96,000 fans to Olympic Stadium.

“He’s open to it,” Coderre said. “I showed that we have a clear strategy and that the fans are there. We can fill the (Olympic Stadium). Now the next step is to get regular-season games here. If we can fill the stadium in April, imagine in June or July.”

Manfred recently said the interest shown by Montreal meant the city had successfully passed the first test toward a return of baseball. Manfred has said the city would need a new stadium to get an expansion team or a club to relocate.

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