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Montreal leader Stephen Bronfman apologizes for St. Pete slam

Radio interview comments about Montreal being nicer, more cosmopolitan and fun were meant as hometown praise, he says.
In this file photo, Stephen Bronfman speaks to the media about the prospect of Major League Baseball returning to Montreal.
In this file photo, Stephen Bronfman speaks to the media about the prospect of Major League Baseball returning to Montreal. [ AP ]
Published Feb. 8, 2020

Montreal baseball group leader Stephen Bronfman apologized for recent comments slamming St. Petersburg in comparison to his hometown.

Bronfman said in a Thursday radio interview that he didn’t think players would necessarily object — as many critics claim — to making the midseason move from Florida to Canada that would be essential to the team-sharing plan he and Rays officials are working feverishly on.

Related: Montreal group leader: Rays plan ‘is real,’ details to be set in 2020

“Say the shift (to Montreal) happens second week of June, mid-June,” Bronfman told CKJM-690. “School season is over. Family moves up, they move to Montreal for the summer. Wives are happy. Much nicer city to be in than St. Petersburg, please. Much more cosmopolitan. Much more fun.”

Friday night, he sent an email through a spokesman to clarify those comments:

“Regarding a possible shift of the team in mid-June to Montreal, I was simply trying to convey my enthusiasm for how beautiful Montreal is in the summertime. Folks here have a particular joie de vivre that is particularly evident when the weather warms up. I apologize for the comparison, and I hope that one day, when our sister city vision comes to fruition, Tampa Bay residents and Rays players and their families have a chance to experience this firsthand. From December to May there is no better place to be than in Tampa Bay, which is why the sister city concept presents such an incredible opportunity for both markets.”

Related: MLB commissioner: Montreal sharing plan "best way" to keep team in Tampa Bay market

Bronfman added that he has visited the Tampa Bay region numerous times, “and as a big supporter of the arts, I’m particularly impressed with the arts and culture scene in the region.”