Investment into Gary Carter Stadium a lot for small stadium: Economy expert

“This is not a good investment,” says Moshe Lander, Senior Lecturer of Economics at Concordia University, about the newly renovated 1,000 seat Gary Carter Stadium in Montreal. Gareth Madoc-Jones reports.

The city of Montreal has just inaugurated the newly renovated one-thousand-seat Gary Carter Stadium in Ahuntsic Park in Montreal. At a cost of $10 million, at least one economics professor suggests it’s a lot of money for this size of stadium.

“I think that the issue is clouded by the presence of the Gary Carter name. This is not a good investment,” said Moshe Lander, economics senior lecturer at Concordia University.

“The biggest impact is going to be that because it’s nice shiny and newish, at least because of the renovations, you can probably host like provincial championships, high school championships [are] going to become kind of the default, at least until something newer comes along.”

The stadium is home to the Montreal Orioles in the Quebec Junior Elite Baseball League and other baseball teams with players ranging from ages 4 to 22. Renovations to the stadium included new bleachers, LED lighting, protective netting, and a new synthetic field surface.

“I think it’s a good investment. I don’t know how much it costs the stadium, but I think it’s good for the kids. So the kids have something in this area to do their sports and make them elite,” explained Rosanna Defanti, Ahuntsic-Cartierville resident.

Julie Riopel, another Ahuntsic-Cartierville resident added, “$10 million is quite an investment. Perhaps they could have done something else within the community that was closer to people. So like, who’s going to go to a $10 million dollar stadium?”

The fact the stadium is named after Gary Carter and that an investment of $10 million was made for renovations poses the question: could this newly renovated stadium be the opening to renewed interest for the Montreal Expos to return to the city?

“Yeah. I want to Expos come back. I like this team, and I see, like many videos on YouTube and it and the series and I think it’s very important the sport in Montreal,” said a Montrealer CityNews spoke to.

Other Montrealers say that if the people in the city want the Expos to come back they’ll make it happen.

“Well, I’m a Montrealer and so I have hope in everything happening, even though the results so far are not so good. But we’re going to cross our fingers that they’re going to come back.”

Lander added, “First of all, the Expos are not coming back. Professional baseball is not going to be in Montreal anytime soon. Whether this was 1,000 seats, 5,000 seats, or 10,000 seats. Major League Baseball has no real interest in coming back to Montreal, but they do have an interest in keeping Montreal dangling as a way to try and motivate Tampa and Oakland City councils to put money into refurbishing their stadiums for hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars.”

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