Blue Jays to play exhibition games in Montreal

USA TODAY Sports

MLB will be returning to Montreal for the first time since 2004.

The Toronto Blue Jays will play a pair of spring training games in Montreal next season, reports Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.

Toronto will host the New York Mets at Montreal's Olympic Stadium. An official announcement is expected on Tuesday, according to Davidi.

The games will be held at the end of the pre-season; the Blue Jays closed out their 2013 spring training with two games in Philadelphia against the Phillies. It will mark the first time MLB has been back to Olympic Stadium since the Expos moved to Washington, changing their names to the Nationals after the 2004 season.

The Blue Jays, the only MLB team currently in Canada, have attempted to start building a country-wide fanbase. The team held an amateur baseball clinic during the off-season at the Rogers Centre, reaching out to 375 coaches from nine of the 10 provinces. Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star complimented the clinic, writing:

The plan of creating a larger fan base by increasing youth and coaching participation has yet to yield results, but the Jays seem to finally understand the big picture when it comes to building a Canadian foundation for a sustainable future.

Playing a pair of games in Montreal is likely born of the same big-picture plan, attempting to get different fans a chance to watch a Blue Jays game in person.

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