OpinionMay 10, 2013

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MLB Expansion - 3 comments

By Kasmir

We’ve all been hearing rumors about a two team expansion in the MLB. It’s been a thought that’s been tossed around since the beginning of the year, when the National League sent its worst team, the Astros, to the American League. Now that there are 15 teams in each league there will be at least one interleague series every day throughout the season. This is causing an unorganized schedule.

What teams should the MLB be looking at adding to the league? We will be reviewing four teams that are being considered, and then pick the two that we think should be inducted.

Teams must meet the following criteria to be considered, by the MLB:

1) Investment potential to meet MLB financial guidelines.
2) Population of city and surrounding area.
3) Geography/potential fan base.
4) History of baseball in the city, past attempts to locate a team.
5) Public Transportation/access to stadium site.

Portland, Oregon

Portland is the largest metro city in the United States without a professional baseball team. It’s currently ranked 29th in the U.S. in population. Located in the Pacific Northwest between the Seattle Mariners and Oakland A’s, they’ve been in the center of expansion talks. The only thing holding them back is the fact they have a pro NBA team and Major League Soccer team. They also receive a large amount of rain, meaning a dome stadium or stadium with a retractable roof would be needed. Portland once had a Triple-A baseball team, but it relocated because it couldn’t support itself. Financially, the team wouldn’t have any issues, as Intel and Nike both have headquarters in the city.

Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville easily has one of the most rich baseball histories in the States. The Louisville Grays were one of the four original founding members of the National League in 1876. Their team, however, was short lived; after four team members were banned in 1877 for gambling, the team shortly folded. There is a very good chance of success in Kentucky as there are no pro teams within state lines, plus close MLB cities like St. Louis and Cincinnati could make for good rivalries and a strong fan base. The final factor making Louisville look strong is the presence of Louisville Slugger, a company producing baseball equipment.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, a.k.a. Lost Wages, is the largest city without a professional sports team. Vegas has thrown its name around to try and land a team in the desert. There are a few things holding Vegas back. It’s the city of entertainment, meaning tourists have other things to do then watch baseball. Also, there have been lots of players that have been thrown out of baseball for gambling. I just do not see a team making it to Las Vegas.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

The 47th state has been pushing to bring any type of team into their state. It’s a proven fact that baseball has been booming in the Southwest, meaning there could be a large and loyal fan base. A team like the New Mexico Matadors could easily bring a large Latino crowd, boosting revenue. New Mexico just has some good pieces, especially location, location, location.

Of those options, I believe if the league expanded to 32 teams, Portland should be inducted into the American League and Louisville should be added to the National League. The reason behind this is that both teams could capture a large fan base and sponsorship. They both have a large sports company that could bolster advertising as well. Finally, they are close enough to teams in their hypothetical leagues that they could establish a good rivalry, packing seats.

Kasmir is a young kid trying to start his baseball career by writing. He has interest in everything baseball following all teams, hit him up if you need a piece published or just want to talk.
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3 Responses to “MLB Expansion”

  1. Portland has been talked about for a while. I don’t think they would put any public money into a stadium which if I remember correctly is why the AAA team left town.

    Louisville is interesting but I think it is too close to Cinncinnati.

    Albuquerque seems way too small.

    Vegas could definitely work but no pro team seems to want to associate with gambling.

    Charlotte NC, San Antonio TX and Nashville TN seem like good spots to me.

  2. User avatar Saltydog says:

    MLB expansion is a great idea from a player’s association standpoint.

    There’s 50+ more MLB salaries to be paid out and more opportunities for pensions to kick in.

    From an MLB/owners’ standpoint, it’s another slice of the revenue sharing pie that needs to go out.

    As far as logistics go, another revamp of the schedule would be needed. You can’t add just one team and have an unbalanced number of teams in the American or National League.

    I’m all for more baseball, and increasing awareness in markets. Looking at the most recent additions to the MLB landscape, there’s a lot to be learned from the NHL by their expansion for the sake of expansion.

    Great article Kas, but I don’t see it being a realistic expectation.

    Now if a franchise were to relocate….

  3. User avatar MashinSpuds says:

    Expansion is a terrible idea, given the various markets that hardly fill the stadiums as it is. If MLB should do anything, it’s forcefully move the Florida teams to two of the four places mentioned in the article. Then we can talk expansion if that even works or is remotely possible.

    This probably isn’t the place to go into diminished talent or public perception of the sport issues, so I’ll leave it at that. :)


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