Why did the Rays’ Montreal plan get rejected?

ST. PETERSBURG — About the only thing Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg could think Thursday was that Major League Baseball didn’t want to be the first league having a team split its home games between two markets.

Otherwise, he had no good guesses — and was not given any specific reasons — why the eight-owner executive council killed their innovative plan to spend the first half of the season in the Tampa Bay area and the second in Montreal.

“I have no doubt that what we try to accomplish with our sister-city plan will become accepted in all major leagues and professional sports,” Sternberg said. “Major League Baseball simply isn’t prepared to cross that threshold right now.”

Stephen Bronfman, leader of the Montreal group, had a similar take, with a twist.

Related: In Montreal, frustration and concern for the Rays’ future

Bronfman suggested that other owners may initially have thought the plan was just a negotiating ploy for a new full-time Tampa Bay stadium. But once they realized the Rays were committed to it and did due diligence, decided the details were too complex to be addressed now.

“When I think they started to see that it was really serious,” Bronfman said, “I think they took a step back and they said, ‘Wow, this is a really outward-thinking project. We understand it. But I don’t know if we want to be the first league or guys out there to start…

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