In the bid to generate more revenues and increase the game’s appeal, first-year MLB commissioner Rob Manfred recently said the Major League is open to expanding it businesses and spreading its tentacles across the United States, and possibly beyond.
“Maybe one of the reasons I got this job is, I’m bullish on this game,” Manfred told the Baseball Writers Association of America. “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.”
Top Cities MLB Betting Fans Could See In Possible League Expansion
Whereas this idea may not be something most MLB betting conformists would want to hear after the league has stayed at 30 teams since 1998, it could be a move that would benefit MLB enthusiasts, if implemented properly and in a timely way. For example:
- With the expansion, the MLB could have separate leagues without daily interleague play.
- Adding two more teams for a total of 32 would make for easier scheduling, as the league would have an even number of teams in both leagues.
- More games means more fun and more opportunities for more revenues
According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the following cities were mentioned by Manfred as possible expansion centers—Charlotte, Las Vegas, Mexico, Mexico City or Monterrey, Montreal, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma City, Oregon, Portland, and San Antonio.
For most of the above cities, the existing facilities, population demographics, age-related factors, and viewership ratings are not yet at the ideal level required to sustain a major league franchise. But then again, the expansions are not expected to commence immediately, so we can speculate some of the options that look viable, if the expansion plans do happen. That said, here is a look at the possible cities for MLB expansion:
4 Million (About the same metro population as Seattle or Phoenix)
Montreal boasts of great TV ratings and it housed a Major League franchise from 1969-2004, with the Olympic Stadium serving as its ballpark from 1977 until the franchise changed its name to the Washington Nationals. The fans in the city also have great awareness and passion for Major League games, something that was exhibited when the MLB drew 96,000 fans for two exhibitions in March 2015 played in the Canadian City.
Montreal would need to build a new stadium that is able to regularly accommodate 80-plus games. Getting to know the real value of TV ratings is also not easy, as the Montreal ratings are not included in U.S.A national numbers.
9 million (The greater metropolitan area has 20 million-plus people)
Boasting of being “the most populous metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere,” Mexico City offers immense potential for a great fanbase and profits for the MLB.
Traveling to the city would be dreadful, as the city is a whopping 1,000 miles from Houston, the closest city with an MLB franchise.
2 Million (bigger than MLB cities like Milwaukee, Atlanta, and Miami)
Las Vegas ranks 29th-largest in U.S.A cities and boasts of well-endowed resources as a popular tourist city, making it easy to build a facility (if need be) in short duration. The Large male population in Las Vegas (50.3 percent) and the warm climate in the region also make it a viable destination for a team looking for fans and great temperatures.
The city has a small TV ratings size and casino gambling could be an issue in the city. Also, Los Vegas is very transient, with most of its residents being visitors or people transplanted from other locales, making it difficult to build Major League fan allegiance.
2.3 million (the 24th-largest city in the U.S. and Puerto Rico
As the third-largest city in the America without a Major League team, Charlotte would definitely offer a feasible home for a new MLB team. In addition, the city has the perfect age demographic for supporting a big league team–older population, but with most of those not being older than 65.
Development-wise, Charlotte is far from being able to build a stadium quickly and the get all the necessary facilities needed to host an MLB team. In addition, MLB is not that popular among blacks and female-heavy populations, who are reportedly the largest constituents in Charlotte.
Other Noteworthy Expansion Possibilities:
Portland, Indianapolis, Nashville, Cuba (Havana)