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Commissioner Rob Manfred sees expansion in MLB's future


Dexter Morgan

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CINCINNATI -- Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred shared a vision of the game Tuesday that could ultimately include more than 30 franchises.

Manfred, appearing at a Baseball Writers Association of America luncheon at the All-Star Game in Cincinnati, said he's open-minded about the possibility of MLB expanding for the first time since the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays came on board in 1998.

"Maybe one of the reasons I got this job is, I'm bullish on this game," Manfred said. "I think we are a growth business, broadly defined. And over an extended period of time, growth businesses look to get bigger. So yeah, I'm open to the idea that there will be a point in time where expansion may be possible."

Manfred said MLB has compiled a list of cities that might be viable options through expansion or possible relocation from existing markets. Tampa Bay and Oakland have been mentioned as markets that could eventually risk losing their teams if their ongoing stadium issues are not resolved.

Manfred said the league remains hopeful that the Rays and Oakland Athletics will be able to obtain new ballparks without relocating, yet will examine other markets in case a team needs to move or the sport decides to expand.

The sport intends to "examine their viability, think about what we can do to make them more viable, so that we have business alternatives that are available to us," Manfred said.

Montreal, Charlotte, North Carolina, San Antonio, Portland, Oregon, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, northern New Jersey, Mexico City or Monterrey, Mexico, are among the markets that could eventually land on baseball's radar as potential locations for new or relocated franchises.

Continue reading: http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/13256319/rob-manfred-sees-expansion-mlb-future

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More I read about Charlotte, the more I think it could be a good market for a MLB team. What stands out is the Charlotte Knights of the International League have been number 1 in attendance since they moved into their centrally located stadium. I wonder if BB&T Ballpark could be expanded for a MLB team.

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It is, as a general rule of thumb, a bad idea to copy whatever the NHL is doing.

And yet it seems to be happening more often... more proof the world is going to crap. The NFL has their award show and drafting for the Pro Bowl; MLB is beating the expansion drum when there's a couple of franchises who probably need new homes.

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More I read about Charlotte, the more I think it could be a good market for a MLB team. What stands out is the Charlotte Knights of the International League have been number 1 in attendance since they moved into their centrally located stadium. I wonder if BB&T Ballpark could be expanded for a MLB team.

Unlikely. It's only on an 8.5 acre parcel of land and the land swap to get that carved it out took three government agencies (city, county, and school district) along with private business, plus the Knights want to build a six story office building behind left field.

http://www.rodgersbuilders.com/news/bbt-ballpark-to-receive-2014-best-project-award/

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CINCINNATI -- Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred shared a vision of the game Tuesday that could ultimately include more than 30 franchises.

Manfred, appearing at a Baseball Writers Association of America luncheon at the All-Star Game in Cincinnati, said he's open-minded about the possibility of MLB expanding for the first time since the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays came on board in 1998.

"Maybe one of the reasons I got this job is, I'm bullish on this game," Manfred said. "I think we are a growth business, broadly defined. And over an extended period of time, growth businesses look to get bigger. So yeah, I'm open to the idea that there will be a point in time where expansion may be possible."

Manfred said MLB has compiled a list of cities that might be viable options through expansion or possible relocation from existing markets. Tampa Bay and Oakland have been mentioned as markets that could eventually risk losing their teams if their ongoing stadium issues are not resolved.

Manfred said the league remains hopeful that the Rays and Oakland Athletics will be able to obtain new ballparks without relocating, yet will examine other markets in case a team needs to move or the sport decides to expand.

The sport intends to "examine their viability, think about what we can do to make them more viable, so that we have business alternatives that are available to us," Manfred said.

Montreal, Charlotte, North Carolina, San Antonio, Portland, Oregon, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, northern New Jersey, Mexico City or Monterrey, Mexico, are among the markets that could eventually land on baseball's radar as potential locations for new or relocated franchises.

Continue reading: http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/13256319/rob-manfred-sees-expansion-mlb-future

These 4 could easily be two expansion and two relocation sites. At least I see those as the most logical of the ones listed so far.

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It is, as a general rule of thumb, a bad idea to copy whatever the NHL is doing.

The other 3 seem to like the NHL's idea of wanting to earn as much expansion fee money even if that means folding bad franchises instead of moving them.

So maybe MLB will expand & just let Oakland & TB crash & burn.

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More I read about Charlotte, the more I think it could be a good market for a MLB team. What stands out is the Charlotte Knights of the International League have been number 1 in attendance since they moved into their centrally located stadium. I wonder if BB&T Ballpark could be expanded for a MLB team.

Well, their attendance should've gotten better. People in Charlotte would no longer have to drive the 30+ minutes down 77 to Fort Mill, SC to see a MiLB game. Plus, newer stadiums usually get higher attendance, because who doesn't like something brand new?
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It is, as a general rule of thumb, a bad idea to copy whatever the NHL is doing.

The other 3 seem to like the NHL's idea of wanting to earn as much expansion fee money even if that means folding bad franchises instead of moving them.

So maybe MLB will expand & just let Oakland & TB crash & burn.

Let the Rays crash and burn, by all means.. A's are worth saving though. The name and brand.

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The only markets in the States that could work are Charlotte and maybe Central Texas (one of SA or Austin; the former has larger corporate base and no UT, the latter has some corporate base, more disposable income among the commoners, and isn't surrounded by total nothingness).

Vegas would be a train wreck, even moreso than in the NHL. OKC's a one-team town. Portland is sandwiched between two much larger markets (not great for TV rights), interest there is lukewarm at best, and they're probably close to tapped out with the Blazers anyway. North Jersey already has set-in-stone allegiances that have been in place for over 50 years now. They would only draw when the Red Sox or Yankees were visiting (in the NL, forget it).

Outside of the U.S., I think Montreal would be okay. Olympic Stadium is a cavernous sh-thole and they got completely dicked over by the league and their ownership over their last 10 years, I don't think that should be held against them too much. I like Vancouver better than Portland, of only because their RSN would have more reach (B.C. and Alberta, maybe more) than Portland, and there's no real reason to think they would have inferior attendance numbers.

Expanding to Mexico would be ballsy. I know that Mexico City, on the whole, is pretty poor and that the 20M population count is a misleading number for gauging potential MLB support. I don't know how things really are down there because I've never even set foot in the country, but even if only 20% of that population is financially able to even modestly support a team (without considering actual interest), that's still a region with 4M people to work with. That would already make them the 15th biggest CSA in the U.S., ahead of Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver and any other place on the expansion list.

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14 years ago, they were going to contract two teams.* Now they want to expand?

*OK, I have always wondered whether this was more of an idle threat. A judged forced the Twins to honor the final year of their Dome lease. But I question that they could not have contract after that if it was important.

Pros to expanding:

  • Two leagues with even number of teams; no need for interleague every day.

Cons:

  • Oh good, even thinner pitching staffs.
  • Are there two other cities that are viable? Are there three (because of Tampa)? Are there four (because of Oakland)?
  • The equal divisions that we just adopted daily interleague play to accommodate would no longer be equal.
  • Is baseball a dying sport? Long games every day in a country becoming more enamored with Soccer every day. It may need to be a 20-team league in 25 years, not 30.
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I don't think you can call anything he said above even close to "beating the expansion drum".

Exactly. It's all hedging and qualified statements. And of course the big question you have to ask him in response to that is "where?" Where would they put an expansion team, particularly when they have two markets who are on the verge of losing their teams and may need to relocate.

Seems to me it's more opening the possibility for the future. But frankly it's a bad idea. Just because the NHL has decided to further dilute their market doesn't mean it's a good idea.

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  • Is baseball a dying sport? Long games every day in a country becoming more enamored with Soccer every day. It may need to be a 20-team league in 25 years, not 30.

What we've been saying for the past how many years? I mean the MLS is more successful than anything before it but is soccer growing or are we just having an extra-long case of World Cup fever?

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  • Is baseball a dying sport? Long games every day in a country becoming more enamored with Soccer every day. It may need to be a 20-team league in 25 years, not 30.

What we've been saying for the past how many years? I mean the MLS is more successful than anything before it but is soccer growing or are we just having an extra-long case of World Cup fever?

It definitely is getting more attention by the U.S. population. Especially in the southern states with a larger Latin American population. It's also getting a lot more visibility to the nationwide public because there are more highlights and stories about it on ESPN and FS1. It's still only a fraction compared to the MLB but that fraction is growing and will continue to grow for the time being.
  • Is baseball a dying sport? Long games every day in a country becoming more enamored with Soccer every day. It may need to be a 20-team league in 25 years, not 30.

What we've been saying for the past how many years? I mean the MLS is more successful than anything before it but is soccer growing or are we just having an extra-long case of World Cup fever?

It definitely is getting more attention by the U.S. population. Especially in the southern states with a larger Latin American population. It's also getting a lot more visibility to the nationwide public because there are more highlights and stories about it on ESPN and FS1. It's still only a fraction compared to the MLB but that fraction is growing and will continue to grow for the time being.
  • Is baseball a dying sport? Long games every day in a country becoming more enamored with Soccer every day. It may need to be a 20-team league in 25 years, not 30.

What we've been saying for the past how many years? I mean the MLS is more successful than anything before it but is soccer growing or are we just having an extra-long case of World Cup fever?

It definitely is getting more attention by the U.S. population. Especially in the southern states with a larger Latin American population. It's also getting a lot more visibility to the nationwide public because there are more highlights and stories about it on ESPN and FS1. It's still only a fraction compared to the MLB but that fraction is growing and will continue to grow for the time being.
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