MONTREAL, Dec. 12, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Following a thorough analysis of
the results of a feasibility study, the group comprised of the Board of
Trade of Metropolitan Montreal (BTMM), the Montreal Baseball Project
(MBP), EY and BCF LLP are pleased to announce that the project to bring
a Major League Baseball (MLB) team back to Montreal is financially
viable if a new stadium is built near downtown.
"Based on several realistic assumptions, including broadcasting revenues
and ticket sales similar to MLB averages, baseball's return to Montreal
is definitely feasible," said Warren Cromartie, President and Founder
of the Montreal Baseball Project. "Keep in mind that Montreal is
currently the largest market in North America without a Major League
"The feasibility study shows that Major League Baseball can be
profitable in Montreal," said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. "For the project to now become
a reality, we need private and public champions to stand and commit to
working on it. The road will be long, but we've successfully completed
an important step."
The total cost of this project is estimated at $1.025 billion, which
includes $500 million to build a new stadium and $525 million to
acquire an existing team. It's also important to note that the majority
of MLB teams use a hybrid funding model that requires both private and
public involvement. "According to this model, the team owner typically
funds 67% of the project, or $690 million, while government funds 33%,
or $335 million," said Michel Leblanc.
"The amounts required are clearly significant. We estimate, however,
that this project can offer private investors an interesting business
opportunity and satisfying returns, especially if they can combine this
asset with sports content broadcast activities. Furthermore, to the
extent that the government gets involved, it would recover its
investment in eight years through the QST on stadium and team sales
activities, income taxes paid by companies and workers involved in the
baseball team project, as well as taxes induced by them, on top of
taxes on players' salaries. Once its investment is recovered, the
government's cumulative earnings are estimated at $1.188 billion for
the following 22 years," said Michel Leblanc.
"The economic benefits of this project would be significant, as in
addition to creating thousands of jobs to build and operate the
stadium, it will have a positive impact on Quebec's GDP," said Michel
Leblanc. In fact, according to the Conference Board of Canada, the
impact on the GDP would be $130 million annually during the
construction of the stadium, and $96 million when it's in operation.
A new stadium near downtown Montreal
According to an analysis of MLB trends and the opinion of architectural
firms Populous and Provencher Roy, building a new stadium near downtown
would be the best option for Montreal. This would ensure the stadium is
easily accessible by public transit and reach more business clientele.
"Three of the sites that were studied meet our criteria: the land
adjacent to the Bonaventure Expressway, the Wellington Basin, and the
area around the Montreal Children's Hospital," said Sylvain Vincent,
Managing Partner for Quebec at EY. "What's more, building a stadium
will have a positive impact on the urban development of each of these
In addition to having the capacity for approximately 36,000 people, the
feasibility study shows that the new stadium will benefit from being an
open-air facility. "Given that the cost of building a retractable roof
varies between $150 million and $180 million, we have concluded that
doing so would undermine the financial viability of the stadium," said
Sylvain Vincent. Note also that the Twins' open-air stadium in downtown
Minneapolis, which has a climate comparable to ours, shows that this
type of stadium could be suitable for Montreal.
69% of Quebecers and 81% of companies in favour of Major League
According to a Léger Marketing survey of 1,589 Quebecers and 392
representatives of corporations of all sizes located in the Montreal
area, 69% of the general public and 81% of businesses support the idea
of bringing a Major League Baseball team back to Montreal. As well,
Léger Marketing notes that 40% of the population would be very
interested in purchasing tickets to see an MLB game in Montreal and
season tickets would represent approximately 60% of all tickets sold
per game. Finally, the average projected attendance would be between
27,600 to 31,600 people per game.
To get the full version of the feasibility study : http://www.btmm.qc.ca/baseball_back
About Montreal Homerun Project Inc.
Montreal Homerun Project Inc. was created by the Board of Trade of
Metropolitan Montreal, the Montreal Baseball Project and BCF LLP to
pursue the project of bringing a Major League Baseball team back to
Montreal. Its objective is to identify and develop funding sources and
advance relations with interested parties, as well as to study
potential sites where the team could play. The company will also
develop financing and corporate structures in order to fund and hold
investments in the team and stadium.
About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of some 7,000
members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business
community of Greater Montreal and to provide individuals, merchants and
local businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to
help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation,
productivity, and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is Quebec's
leading private economic development organization.
About the Montreal Baseball Project
Founded in 2012 by former Montreal Expos player Warren Cromartie, the
Montreal Baseball Project's goal is to bring Major League Baseball back
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory
services. The EY project team, headed by Sylvain Vincent, Managing
Partner for Quebec, is directed by Daniel Roth and William Jegher,
respectively Senior Vice-President, Transaction Advisory Services and
Vice-President, Transaction Real Estate at EY for Quebec. Others who
contributed to the feasibility study are the firms Léger, the
Conference Board of Canada, BCF LLP, Populous and Provencher Roy.
About BCF LLP
BCF is a firm of more than 180 lawyers and other professionals whose
business law practice has been keeping pace with the changing needs of
the business world. BCF offers the services of 22 multidisciplinary
teams as a solution to the complex needs of its clients. A member of
the Meritas international legal network, a leading association of
independent law firms, BCF has developed an expertise in every sector
of business law. Richard Epstein, partner and co-leader of the firm's
Mergers and Acquisitions practice, heads up the firm's team on this
project. BCF is a leader in the practice of business law in Quebec and
has been the recipient of the award from Canada's 50 Best Managed
Companies business award program since 2007. www.bcf.ca.
SOURCE: Montreal Homerun Project Inc.
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