Mayor: Montreal 'will show Mr. Manfred our love for the sport'

MONTREAL -- Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre says he plans to meet baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred in New York on May 28 as part of the city's quest for a return of the sport.

In an interview Thursday with the Canadian Press that was released Sunday, Coderre said "we will show Mr. Manfred our love for the sport. I don't want to negotiate openly, but we'll clearly talk about Montreal."

The Expos joined the National League as an expansion team for the 1969 season and remained in the big leagues through 2004 before moving to Washington and becoming the Nationals.

While the Expos failed to draw 1 million spectators to Olympic Stadium in any of their final seven seasons, a total of 96,350 fans attended a pair of March 2014 exhibitions between the Mets and Blue Jays, and 96,545 went to a pair of games between Toronto and Reds last month.

"We need a plan. We need a step-by-step approach," Coderre said. "You don't pull the flower to make it grow faster."