MLB expansion?

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    Brian WaltonBrian Walton

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    I went to this article to read about the minor league implications and put this link on that existing thread. However, buried in the depths of the article is a very interesting rumor that would affect MLB greatly.

    16 teams per league could enable them to move to eight, four-team divisions, increase the playoff pool and most importantly to them – collect huge expansion fees.

    If MLB expands by two teams, where do you think they would be located?


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    I would think probably Montreal (again) and either Portland or somewhere in the south like Nashville or Charlotte. Would it be the right call? Hard to say. I already dislike the expanded playoffs and would prefer that they don’t water it down more, but that ship seems to have sailed.

    Brian WaltonBrian Walton

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    It may also depend on the locations in which the highest bidders want to play – as long as they are not perceived to be infringing on another team’s territory. Then we have the personalities. Which people would the owners allow to join their fraternity? In the past, perceived rabble-rousers like Mark Cuban were excluded from consideration.



    Hasn’t Las Vegas been mentioned as a prime site for expansion in recent years? Montreal once again seems likely. The Nashville and Charlotte idea I don’t like.



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    I would say the top contenders are Montreal, Portland, and Las Vegas. Hopefully they don’t try something dumb like Mexico City or London.


    Austin,TX or San Antonio, TX or a stadium location in between. Both are growing at a good rate.

    Charlotte, NC or Indianapolis, IN



    Here are the largest 50 metropolitan areas. The capitalized cities are sans a MLB team –

    1. New York
    2. Los Angeles
    3. Chicago
    4. Dallas/Fort Worth
    5. Houston
    6. Washington DC
    7. Miami
    8. Philadelphia
    9. Atlanta
    10. Boston
    11. Phoenix
    12. San Francisco/Oakland
    13. RIVERSIDE/SAN BERNADINO (only 60 miles to LA)
    14. Detroit
    15. Seattle
    16. Minneapolis/St. Paul
    17. San Diego
    18. Tampa
    19. Denver
    20. St. Louis
    21. Baltimore
    22. ORLANDO (only 85 miles to Tampa)
    23. CHARLOTTE (245 miles to Atlanta)
    24. SAN ANTONIO (197 miles to Houston, 274 to Dallas)
    25. PORTLAND (175 miles to Seattle)
    26. SACRAMENTO (only 88 miles to the Bay area)
    27. Pittsburgh
    28. LAS VEGAS (274 miles to Los Angeles)
    29. Cincinnati
    30. AUSTIN (195 miles to Dallas)
    31. Kansas City
    32. COLUMBUS (106 miles to Cincinnati)
    33. Cleveland
    34. INDIANAPOLIS (only 99 miles to Cincinnati)
    35. SAN JOSE (in the Bay Area)
    39. Milwaukee
    43. MEMPHIS
    44. RICHMOND
    48. HARTFORD
    50. BUFFALO

    Not the sole criteria for an expansion team, but perhaps growth rate and proximity to an existing market that already has an MLB team will be taken into consideration.

    Seems like Las Vegas, San Antonio/Austin, Charlotte, and Portland might be the 4 at the top of the list. Maybe Nashville and New Orleans in the second tier.


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    I like the idea of expansion, and I don’t really care which cities would get a franchise except that I think it would be more fun playing teams that are geographically close to St. Louis.



    I thought they were saving Vegas and Montreal for The A’s and Rays?

    Remember when Buffalo was seriously considered for an MLB franchise back in the day?

    Brian WaltonBrian Walton

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    The Rays’ stadium lease runs through 2027 and there is reportedly no out clause to enable them to leave the area sooner. All the talk of the split schedule between the two cities evaporated.


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    16 team leagues with 4 divisions makes too much sense not to expand, although I am not real big on it as pro sports are over-saturated now.

    If it were done, I would prefer to eliminate inter-league play, but doubt that will happen. Thus what needs to be done is limit it to where you play only one other-league division per season, rotating every four years. So maybe play home-and-home 3 games series versus another off-league division. That is 24 inter-league games. Then lets see, play your divisional rivals 18 times (9 home, 9 away), gets you another 54 games. That leaves 84 in a 162 games schedule, which makes 7 each against the rest of the teams in your league. Certainly do-able schedule-wise.

    With expanded playoffs you may want to cut back to 154 regular season games – probably shave those 8 off of the intra-league games, so you play 4 of the non-division teams in your league 7 times and 8 of them 6 times.

    As for sites – slim pickins’ as people have shown. One issue is some current franchises are not in the best situation. Oakland is not a good location, and Miami has been a disaster.

    None of the potential areas seems like a strong baseball market. I don’t like Portland as you cut into Seattle’s territory, and don’t think there is enough support to go around. But who knows – I might complete the “Texas Triangle” and throw a San Antonio entry out there. I think you stay away from Florida, thus you probably have to go back in to Montreal, then maybe Vega$ and Nashville.

    And yes, none of this overseas stuff – a scheduling and logistics nightmare, unless we develop reliable super-jets that can safely get from here to Europe in 3 hours.


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    Up until last year San Antonio could only muster being an AA franchise. They are now up to AAA. Having them now leap up to MLB status seems like a stretch to me despite their population.

    I would think Montreal is an absolute lock so the other franchise would be a US city. Portland and Vegas have their warts but are probably as viable as the other contenders.

    I think the A’s will eventually get a new stadium in Oakland but not sure about Tampa. They have a long way to go.

    MLB wouldn’t admit it but their foray into Florida and Arizona has been a flop. Yes, all three teams have been to the world series but the Marlins and Rays are usually the bottom two in attendance and the Dbacks are in the lower half to lower third. Those two states are retirement areas so most of the locals don’t care about the local teams.



    Is Monterrey out of the discussion now?


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    Is Monterrey out of the discussion now?

    I don’t know. Travel wise it would make more sense than Mexico City. That is for sure.

    Brian WaltonBrian Walton

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    gscottar said:

    …the Marlins and Rays are usually the bottom two in attendance and the Dbacks are in the lower half to lower third. Those two states are retirement areas so most of the locals don’t care about the local teams…

    I have the solution. Put all three teams in the same division as the Yankees! 😉


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    Could relocate the A’s up to Portland. Solve the Oakland stadium problem even if you can’t solve the Rays Tropicana problem until 2028.

    Seattle may not want to share their Northwest fanbase, but surely they are tiring of traveling to Texas multiple times to play the Astros and Rangers as divisional opponents. Seattle has the worst travel schedule in MLB, so give them a backyard rivalry in Portland and add a Vegas franchise as a 3rd AL west club, along with the LAA. So Vegas is an AL club.

    San Antonio as a NL club. NL Central could be Rockies, San Antonio, STL and CHC.

    AvatarCardinal in France


    Why is it they want to wreck the minor leagues and give us more mediocre major league teams?


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    On expansion, this is the longest period without expansion since the expansion era started (1961). Seems inevitable.



    If we go to four divisions in each league where would all the teams fall? Lets assume its Montreal in the NL and Las Vegas in the AL.

    Have at it, men…….

    r/Esteemed Rat



    Charlotte should be one of them.


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    If we go to four divisions in each league where would all the teams fall? Lets assume its Montreal in the NL and Las Vegas in the AL.

    AL East-New York, Boston, Baltimore, Toronto
    AL South-Tampa Bay, Texas, Houston, Kansas City
    AL North-Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, Cleveland
    AL West-Seattle, Oakland, Las Vegas, Los Angeles

    NL East-New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Montreal
    NL Central-St Louis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Colorado
    NL South-Atlanta, Florida, Cincinnati, Washington
    NL West-Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Arizona


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    The West teams are easy if we pull Colo out, and add Vegas, as stlcards25 did above. Very regional and no team switches leagues.

    NL West – LAD, SFG, SDP, ARI (unchanged)
    AL West – SEA, OAK, VEGAS, LAA

    Colorado is now isolated. Pull in KC, the TEX Rangers and then add San Antonio instead of Montreal.

    NL South – ATL, FLA, TBR, HOU
    In the NL we currently have Fla and Atl, both traveling to play WAS, PHI and the NYM up North. Regionally I like this gulf coast fit.

    NL East – NYM, PHI, WAS, PIT
    AL East – NYY, BOS, BAL, TOR

    NL North – STL, CHC, MIL, CIN
    AL North – CHW, DET, MIN, CLE


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    Oakland could relocate to Portland and eventually Fla to Charlotte without affecting these divisions geographically.


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    If it were me and I could move stuff around and add a couple:

    San Juan (from TB or MIA)
    Portland (from Oakland)
    add Montreal
    add Omaha

    -Montreal seems like it might be ready again, and another Canadian team feels right to me
    -Oakland seems to have an endless problem, and Portland I think would be more than happy
    -TB never made sense to me, MIA seems a wreck…and San Juan would absolutely be well attended, the warm weather and the fact that is probably already the islands national game, with all the great players in the bigs already would mean great attendance
    -Omaha is my gamble…but with nothing really close to hem you can already see how devoted they are to WHATEVER they get…their support of the College World Series is amazing, and their devotion to the Cornhuskers in Lincoln is legendary…you’d peel off a few fans from some fanbases, but you’d add a lot more from people who have nowhere t align because of distance

    Still..i get the San Antonio and Carolinas argument…Vegas maybe but i think they want to wait and see how the NFL does there…Nashville never made sense to me unless you are looking at a lot of other regional places

    I also get the expansion is for money argument so big cities make more sense….still, Montreal is no small town, Portland and Omaha may seem small, but they are great regionally…and San Juan is Puerto Rico basically so you get the whole island’s attention every game (same can be said for Omaha too)

    but to me…even if TB cant move..order of interest

    San Juan
    San Antonio
    Mexico City

    Brian WaltonBrian Walton

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    At just under 5,000 fans per game, Omaha’s average attendance ranked 12th of the 16 teams in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League last season. Memphis was 13th. No. 1 was Las Vegas, with roughly the attendance of Omaha and Memphis combined.

    P.S. The stadium situation in Omaha is far from ideal – not because the facilities are old. The new downtown ballpark built for the College World Series (and used by Creighton U) holds 24,000. Because the owners of the Triple-A team could not agree with the city on the number of seats needed, they built their own stadium in the suburbs that seats 9,000.

    To play MLB games, they would either need to build a third stadium or expand one of the current ones by a substantial amount.

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