Originally Posted by Hitmen77
This subject seems to come up every several months or so. Cities are suggested as good candidates to have a MLB team. Sometimes people base this on the fact that certain cities have a successful NFL, NBA, and/or NHL team.
The problem is that it's a lot more difficult to find a metro area that can consistently support a MLB than any of the other major sports. The NHL and NBA play half as many games per season and in arenas that are about half the capacity of MLB ballparks. The NFL is wildly popular and plays only 8 home games a season.
These days, MLB teams that are average less than about 25k per game are said to have "poor attendance." That's tough to achieve night after night for a team that plays just about every single day and has 81 home games.
....and that doesn't even get into the issue of big money from local TV contracts that, more and more, are becoming a key part of teams' finances.
I don't think Nashville, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, etc. can support a team.
IMO, the Rays aren't going anywhere. MLB can piss and moan all they want, but they and/or Rays ownership signed a lease until 2027. I don't see them breaking that when they really don't have anywhere else to go. I don't think the fact that the bonds for the Trop will be paid off in 2016 makes a difference....they still have a lease and they won't break it without anywhere else to go. Maybe Montreal could work again, but they'd have to approve funding for a new MLB-only ballpark first....and I'm not holding my breath for that to happen any time soon.
Good point. Plus, Milwaukee has 50+ years of MLB history going back to the wildly popular Braves teams of the 1950s.
Good post. Milwaukee is an anomaly and the attendance that they get is a testament to how great their fans are.
Most studies indicate that an MSA of 2.5 million, in addition to the presence of a large number of corporations, is need to support a MLB franchise. That eliminates almost every market that does not currently have a team, outside of Montreal.
Also, the cities that have a large number of transplants are doomed to fail (I.e. Phoenix, Miami, Tampa), since the people living there are either fans of other teams or are not going to support a local team. This is why Las Vegas is such a horrible option, in addition to the fact that it currently does not have the population to support an MLB franchise.
The last market that was truly viable for baseball was Denver, when it was awarded a franchise in the early 90s, which MLB avoided for so long for obvious reasons. After that, MLB overextended itself and moved into markets that clearly can not support MLB. Right now, contraction, Montreal, or a third NYC team (MSA 21+ million) are the best options for the Rays and the A's.