Montreal reached out to Major League Baseball with an offer to host a three-game series between the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers, said Mayor Denis Coderre.
The Astros were slated to begin the series between their in-state rivals on Tuesday, but Hurricane Harvey forced the team to come up with a different option.
In the end, the games wound up being played at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., home of the Tampa Bay Rays, with the final game of the series set for Thursday afternoon. But Montreal threw its hat into the ring, Coderre said.
“It was just to say, ‘Listen, we are feeling for the people of Texas and that if we can be helpful, we want to be part of the solution,'” he said Thursday.
Coderre said logistics such as the proximity of the players to Montreal came into play, but that MLB was “thankful” for the offer.
“If they need us, we’re ready.”
Coderre didn’t say he was the official who reached out to MLB, but he didn’t say it wasn’t him, either.
MLB.com writer Jon Morosi tweeted that the league has a “favourable view” of Coderre and business leaders in the city.
Minor controversy over game location
The location of the games caused a minor controversy this week.
The two teams are scheduled to meet again in September in Arlington, Texas, home of the Rangers.
They were looking into the option of swapping home-field advantage, but the Rangers declined, saying that wouldn’t be fair to its fans who bought tickets to the September games.
The Astros will return to Minute Maid Park, their home field, Saturday to begin a series against the New York Mets.
Back in Houston, a break from the weather and a chance to pop the top! ⛅️ pic.twitter.com/3sBwtjqtdp
Last year, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said that discussions have been held about the possibility of playing regular-season games in Montreal.
For four straight years, the Toronto Blue Jays have played a two-game series at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium to finish off pre-season play.
Montreal has been ramping up efforts to bring a MLB team back to the city. The Expos left for Washington after the 2004 season.