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Potential Major League Baseball expansion

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Major League Baseball (MLB) has undergone several rounds of expansion in reaching 30 teams, with the last expansion taking place in 1998. MLB has discussed the preparations for another round of expansion. Several investment groups are pitching for an MLB franchise.

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Major League Baseball had 16 teams from its inception until its first expansion in 1961, adding two teams. MLB expanded again in 1962, 1969, 1977, 1993, and 1998, reaching 30 teams. A contraction plan was considered in 2001 that would have eliminated two teams, reportedly the Minnesota Twins and the Montreal Expos, but it was ultimately foiled due to lawsuits from the Minnesota Twins.[1]

At the 2015 MLB All-Star Game, Rob Manfred, the commissioner of baseball, was asked about expansion, and replied that he was "open" to the idea.[2] At the 2017 MLB All-Star Game, he reiterated his hopes for MLB to expand, identifying Montreal, Charlotte, Mexico City, and Vancouver as potential sites.[3][4] He has also said that there is no timetable for expansion as the stadium issues of the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics must be dealt with before MLB can add teams.[5][1]

After the 2017 season, Tracy Ringolsby of Baseball America wrote that there was "a building consensus" that MLB would expand to 32 teams. He said that the proposed expansion would allow for divisional realignment to address concerns with travel and off-days in the schedule.[6][7] Ringolsby also reported that a team would likely go to Portland, Oregon, with Manfred citing a need for another team in the western United States.[6][8]

After Sportico estimated the average value of an MLB franchise to be $2.2 billion in April 2021, Manfred called it a "lodestar" for negotiations for an expansion fee for the team's new owners.[9] Tony Clark, the president of the MLB Players Association, voiced his support for expanding MLB to 32 teams the following year.[10]

In April 2023, the Athletics entered into an agreement to relocate to Las Vegas.[11] Las Vegas had been seeking an MLB franchise, either through expansion or relocation of an existing team.[12]

Potential sites


Rick Curti is chief executive officer of the Charlotte Bats, an organization devoted to bringing a major league baseball team to Charlotte.[13] In March 2023, the deputy mayor of Charlotte said that no plans for a stadium have been submitted to the Charlotte City Council for consideration.[13]


The Montreal Expos, a 1969 expansion team, played for 36 seasons in the NL East before relocating to Washington, D.C. in 2004, becoming the Washington Nationals.

In 2019, the Rays received permission to explore splitting their seasons between Tampa Bay and Montreal.[14] MLB rejected the Rays' plan in January 2022.[15]

In 2015, Denis Coderre, the mayor of Montreal, and Stephen Bronfman, the son of Expos owner Charles Bronfman, wrote a letter to all 30 MLB teams extolling Montreal as an expansion city.[16] Bronfman is leading a group of investors who are looking to obtain an MLB franchise. He announced an agreement to develop land that would house a new stadium on a 40-acre (16 ha) plot of land off of Bonaventure Expressway in Peel Basin.[14][17] His partners include Pierre Boivin, Alain Bouchard, and Mitch Garber.[14] According to The Canadian Press the ownership group has met MLB's conditions for returning to Montreal.[18]


Music City Baseball was founded in 2019 by John Loar and Alberto Gonzales.[19] They brought on Dave Stewart to lead them publicly. The organization is devoted to the founding of a major league team in Nashville, named the "Nashville Stars", after the Negro league team of that name.[20] The group initially sought land for a stadium by the Cumberland River,[19] but is now focused on North Nashville near Tennessee State University.[20] The group hopes to privately fund the stadium.[21]


Despite the fact that the state of Florida has two teams already in Tampa and Miami, Orlando has expressed interest in a team. In November 2019, Pat Williams, a co-founder of the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association (NBA), unveiled the "Orlando Dreamers", a concept for an MLB expansion team in Orlando, Florida.[22] Thousands of people indicated interest in buying season tickets on the Orlando Dreamers website in the 24 hours after the announcement.[23] The group has proposed building a 45,000-capacity domed stadium on a 35.5-acre (14.4 ha) lot near the Orange County Convention Center along with 1,000 hotel rooms, estimating a cost of $1.7 billion. They are seeking $975 million in public funds.[24][25]


Portland Diamond Project was formed in 2017 by Craig Cheek, a retired vice president for Nike, Inc., and Mike Barrett, a former broadcaster for the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA.[26] Russell Wilson and Ciara invested in the group in 2018.[27]

In November 2018, Portland Diamond Project announced an agreement with the Port of Portland to build a 32,000-seat stadium along the Willamette River[28][29] on a 45.5-acre (18.4 ha) tract of land at Terminal 2[30] in Northwest Portland. Architecture firm Populous would build the stadium if the proposal is approved.[31] The Oregon Legislative Assembly passed Senate Bill 5 in 2003, which could provide $150 million in public funds towards building a stadium.[32]

Salt Lake City

In April 2023, Gail Miller, the widow of Utah Jazz owner Larry H. Miller and co-founder of the Larry H. Miller Company, announced the formation of Big League Utah, a group of investors looking to obtain an expansion MLB franchise for Salt Lake City. They also announced their partnership with Rocky Mountain Power to develop a 100-acre (40 ha) lot on the city's west side for a stadium.[33]


  1. ^ a b Brown, Maury. "Major League Baseball's Expansion Paradox". Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  2. ^ "Commissioner sees expansion in MLB's future". July 14, 2015.
  3. ^ "Manfred's chat covers gamut of MLB topics".
  4. ^ "MLB in Charlotte? Commish mentions Queen City". Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  5. ^ "MLB hints at Expos return, but not until A's, Rays get ballparks | CBC Sports". CBC News. July 11, 2017. Archived from the original on May 16, 2023.
  6. ^ a b Ringolsby, Tracy. "Expansion Could Trigger Realignment, Longer Postseason".
  7. ^ Jaffe, Jay. "Mapping out a 32-team league should MLB pursue expansion". Sports Illustrated.
  8. ^ "MLB commissioner Rob Manfred discusses an All-Star game at Safeco Field, Mariners' injuries and the WBC during his stop in Seattle". The Seattle Times. September 20, 2017. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  9. ^ "Manfred: MLB expansion fees could rise to $2.2B". April 27, 2021.
  10. ^ Axisa, Mike (July 19, 2022). "MLB expansion? MLBPA chief Tony Clark hopeful league can get to 'a world of 32 teams'". Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  11. ^ "Column: Another domino falls on road to MLB expansion". Associated Press. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  12. ^ McCullough, Andy. "MLB expansion: Las Vegas eyes a new team, but waits on the A's". The Athletic.
  13. ^ a b "Room for more? Odds we see the MLB in Charlotte | FOX8 WGHP". January 18, 2023. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  14. ^ a b c Rajeshni Naidu-Ghelani (June 21, 2019). "Meet the business leaders behind the move to bring the MLB back to Montreal - BNN Bloomberg". Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  15. ^ "Rays owner: MLB nixing Montreal plan 'deflating'". January 20, 2022.
  16. ^ "CityNews". Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  17. ^ "Bronfman presents vision for Peel Basin at public consultation office, including baseball stadium - Montreal". Retrieved May 18, 2023.
  18. ^ "Source: Montreal baseball investors have met MLB conditions". March 29, 2017. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  19. ^ a b "Music City Baseball leadership opens up about challenges, opportunity to bring MLB to Nashville". News Channel 5 Nashville (WTVF). October 2, 2019.
  20. ^ a b "What's the latest on Major League Baseball coming to Nashville, TN?". Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  21. ^ "Nashville Major League Baseball Dave Stewart on diversifying push". Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  22. ^ "Dreamers: Pat Williams hopes to bring MLB team to Orlando". Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  23. ^ Limon, Iliana (November 22, 2019). "Orlando Dreamers get thousands of endorsements for push to bring pro baseball to Central Florida – Orlando Sentinel". Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  24. ^ Bianchi, Mike. "Will Orange County back Pat Williams' $1.7 billion stadium plan to lure Tampa Bay Rays?". Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  25. ^ Fox, Greg (May 2, 2023). "Orlando major league baseball stadium proposed". Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  26. ^ "Portland has ownership group in place for MLB team, looking to fast-track baseball to Oregon". October 17, 2017. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  27. ^ "Seahawks Russell Wilson, Ciara to invest in Portland Diamond Project". June 1, 2018. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  28. ^ Brown, Maury. "MLB To Portland Has Agreement In Principle For Ballpark Land On River Near Downtown". Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  29. ^ "Portland Diamond Project has agreement for ballpark at NW Portland marine terminal (renderings)". November 29, 2018. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  30. ^ Jaquiss, Nigel (November 27, 2019). "The Portland Diamond Project Will Extend Due Diligence on Port Property For Six Months". Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  31. ^ "MLB expansion: Portland continues to build buzz for baseball around town". The Athletic. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  32. ^ Jaquiss, Nigel (May 2, 2018). "Portland's Baseball Backers Have a Secret Weapon Warming Up in the Bullpen: An Unprecedented Tax Scheme". Retrieved May 18, 2023.
  33. ^ "Swinging for the fences: New Big League Utah coalition aiming to bring MLB to Salt Lake City". Deseret News. April 12, 2023.
This page was last edited on 24 September 2023, at 08:48
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