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Where would you move the Expos?


spyboy1

Where would you move the Expos and why?  

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I have heard that Major League Baseball will be annoucing where the Expos will be moving to soon. It got me thinking about what cities have teams in the other 3 major sports NFL, NBA & NHL, but not a baseball team.

In other words, what cities are the most "major league", but lacking in baseball.

A really quick run through the leagues led me to these thoughts.

Level One;

Washington DC (Redskins,Wizards & Capitals)

Carolina/Charlotte (Panthers, Bobcats & Hurricanes)

Tennessee (Titans, Grizzlies & Predators)

of these three, I believe that Washington is the only one where the 3 teams are actually in the same city, which would make them the most 'major league'.

Charlotte and Raleigh along with Nashville and Memphis really are not that close to each other, making Charlotte and Nashville really more of a Level Two area, but with extra credit above the others for a third team in the same state.

The rest of Level Two has two pro teams in the 3 leagues and should also be considered. They are;

New Orleans (Saints & Hornets)

Buffalo (Bills & Sabres)

Indianapolis (Colts & Pacers)

On paper, it looks like Washington DC looks to be the city with the largest gap in their sports landscape. I'm sure there are lots of other factors involved in relocating the Expos, such as the proximity to other exsisting teams, two previous failed franshises, etc., but the presence of the other leagues would indicate they deserve baseball.

Where would you locate an MLB team and why?

JeffB

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Not necessarily in one of those markets. I'd rather move to a slightly less traditionally-"major league" market that isn't oversaturated with pro sports as opposed to a more traditional-"major league" market that is so saturated with sports and whose sports dollar has been maxed out.

I'm not saying it couldn't be one of those markets, but I am saying it need not be limited to which city is currently the most "major league".

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Paging Mr.Fab . . . . . .

I voted for D.C. but personally, I'd prefer Indy (even though they're not even making an attempt to land the team). I'd love to have another regional NL rival for the Cards.

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Voted for D.C. only because it was the most likely of the bunch to land the Expos. I don't think i have a real preference for where they can move to. If i had a preference it would be a new Stadium in Montreal with support. It's a shame that Montreal is losing it's team.

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DC, Monterrey, Hampton Roads, Las Vegas and San Juan are the cities really being considered, but of the ones said, only DC is on the list. So DC wins by default.

Although it would be cool to have a Major League Team in buffalo. But it just won't happen. Especially because the Buffalo Bisons Major League club wouldn't like it.

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Portland's always been on the shirt list of candidates. I picked D.C. I just find it appropriate to have a team playing America's pasttime in the nation's capital. Northern Virginia might be a good choice for the same reason, assuming they would take on the "Washington" name.

That's a good question, actually. Would Northern Virginia be a "Washington" team?

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Portland already has approved $340 million in stadium financing (the only relocation site to have done so), they're looking for a stadium location right now. Portland seems to be the Houston Texans of this whole thing, sitting and hoping D.C./NOVA falls through, much the way Houston got the team when L.A. failed to. Portland has also made a favorable impression on MLB so that if the Expos do go to D.C., Portland is first in line for the next relocation...

As soon as Portland approved the financing, the Seattle Mariners immediately began whining about the impact of a Portland MLB franchise on their bottom line, much the way Angelos is freaking out about D.C.

For a more detailed explanation of the whole Portland effort, go to:

MLB 2 PDX

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I voted "Other" as this list is something of a moot point, given that only Washington DC is one of the actual candidates for the Expos' relocation.

As I've said before, I wish that MLB had been as proactive about securing the Expos' long-term future in Montreal as it has been about their proposed solutions: first, contraction and now, relocation. I would have much-preferred the Expos remaining in a baseball-only park in Montreal to the long, torturous path that the franchise has been forced to negotiate.

That said, of the six candidate cities offered up in the poll, I would rank my preference for the candidates as follows...

1) Charlotte

2) Nashville

3) Buffalo

4) Washington DC

5) Indianapolis

6) New Orleans

I believe that Charlotte is the prototypical "growing Southern market". The marketplace has acquired a taste for major-league sports entertainment - and proven its ability to support the big leagues - through its experience with the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets and now, the Charlotte Bobcats. I don't hold the Hornets' debacle against the Charlotte marketplace. I put the responsibility for that nightmare squarely on the shoulders of George Shinn. What's more, I believe that Peter Karmanos was extremely shortsighted in choosing Raleigh over Charlotte as the home for his relocated carolina Hurricanes.

Nashville is another Southern market on the rise. Despite those naysayers who point to the Nashville Predators as a failure, I think that the support for the team is about what should be expected given hockey's somewhat "novelty" status in the market at the club's outset, as well as the spotty performance of the club on-ice. I happened to be in Nashville on business during both this NHL season's stretch-run and for a playoff game. I have to say that the level of raucous support for the team that I witnessed on the part of Nashville fans would have surprised many a hockey "traditionalist". I believe that the region is truly being won over by both the team and the sport. As for the Tennesse Titans, we all know that football is "king" in the south and the NFL variety has proven to be no different in "The Music City".

Buffalo, quite simply, got screwed during MLB's two latest rounds of expansion. While both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies have met with what can be considered marketing success since their arrival on the MLB stage, both the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Miami Marlins have proven to be something less than runaway hits. I have to believe that there are days when some folks at MLB headquarters wonder what "might have been" had they chosen to expand to the small-market in Upstate New York. Personally, I believe that a Major-League version of the Buffalo Bisons would have been a blueprint for just how successful a small-market team can be.

Washington DC is a conundrum with regard to how well it might do in its third go-around with MLB. On the one hand, this would be the city's third go-around with MLB. There's a part of me that asks, "Why bother to give it chance to prove that the 'third time's a charm'?" After all, based on past history, DC is just as likely to prove "three strikes and your out". Then again, is the population base, demographic information and - most importantly - disposable income in the region just too much for MLB to ignore? Throw in the sticky situation created by Peter Angelos' posturing on the territorial encroachment issue and I'm all too ready to give another city first crack at the relocated Expos... as opposed to DC getting its third chance.

As for Indianapolis and New Orleans, I just don't see them possessing the upside that the markets I've ranked ahead of them happen to have.

In reality, the candidates for the Expos' relocation are Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Norfolk, Portland, Las Vegas, Monterrey and San Juan. Of those candidates, I would mark my preferences as follows:

1) Norfolk is probably a pipe-dream, but I find something decidedly charming about the "little relocation campaign that could". The team would undoubtedly be the only big-league sports attraction on the block... which could be a good thing. There are significant questions about whether the long-term corporate support is there, as well as concerns about just how much the region's transient military population and disposable income figures would impact rank-and-file fan numbers. Certainly, MLB must love the fact that they'd have the major-league pro sports landscape to themselves. Still, does the idea of going into another small-market scare them? Still, this is the candidate that I'm pulling for in the relocation derby. I want them to some-how prove that it can be done.

2) Portland is another of those markets that you think must be ripe to support more than its current single "Big Four" team. Once a real front-runner in this race along with Washington DC, it has undoubtedly squandered whatever opportunity it once had through an inefficient campaign and squabbling amongst political operatives in Oregon. Despite the "shiny, happy" spin that they'll try and put on things, there are simply "too many cooks spoiling the broth" in Portland. It also doesn't help that the State of Oregon's economy is in a meltdown. Plus, there's the pesky question of whether or not a team in Portland would adversely impact the Seattle Mariners. But, Portland's a terrific city that I would love to see get the opportunity to support more than just one major professional sports team.

Oops... I've got to run. Analysis of the rest of the pack will have to wait until a later date. Still, here they are as I rank them...

3) Las Vegas

4) Washington DC

5) Northern Virginia

6) Monterrey

7) San Juan

Brian in Boston

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Interestingly, MLB is the only one of the big four pro sports in the USA that doesn't "own" a market, that is, every MLB market has at least one other big four franchise in it.

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Interestingly, MLB is the only one of the big four pro sports in the USA that doesn't "own" a market, that is, every MLB market has at least one other big four franchise in it.

That's a very interesting point that I didn't catch onto while doing my quick check of the cities and teams.

JeffB

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I want to see it go to Portland or Norfolk. DC's had its chance twice and it's not like it'd kill 'em to drive to Baltimore to see some ball. Also I like the idea of MLB being in a market where it's not one of 3 or 4 options.

Of the two, I'd say Portland is the better choice being that it has more baseball history, but all I heard when I was out in Virginia was how they needed a team... any team.

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