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Thread: Major League Baseball Franchise Location Discussion [split from 1994 baseball strike aftermath]

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    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Major League Baseball Franchise Location Discussion [split from 1994 baseball strike aftermath]

    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    Basbeall teams demand new stadiums and get them. They threaten to move, but if you look at the markets, there realistically might only be one place that could support a team and does not have one.
    I'd be interested to learn which places you think that don't currently have a team could support one.

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    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    I brough it up, TexanOkie asked and Brockton listed...

    I don't really have a list of cities that could support an MLB team, but I'll offer my opinion on Brockton's list:

    3rd team in NYC - might be a good choice, but should probably be located in NJ and they would have alot of ground to make up. Base option is probably a AL team as an affordable option to the yankmees (similar to the LA Clippers to the Lakers).

    San Antonio - The potential west Texas option, don't know

    Indianapolis - How is the AAA team doing? Don't know enough, but look at Charlotte

    Charlotte - never make it...alot of minor league team playing around it, too much of a drive for weekday games for most (already evident by the NBA Bobcats, but a winning team would help), AAA team doing okay, not great, but in "bad" location, close to Atlanta

    Raleigh - similar to Charlotte, AAA in Durham doing well and lots of MiLB close by. Could compliment like NHL Hurricannes in Raliegh while NBA Bobcats & NFL Panthers in Charlotte.

    Memphis - could be a good pull, don't know enough

    I also heard Portland or Sacramentto but I think they're both too close to other MLB markets. Las Vegas, too much other stuff happening.

    The biggest issue I see with these other locations is that there are 81 MLB home games, of which less than 1/3 are played on the weekends. In NFL 95% are played on weekends and with NHL & NBA you see a lower trunout on weekday games. I guess my argument comes down to: not enough population in immediate drawing area or willing to drive an hour + expense of games - weekday games = not enough revenue.

    Case in point, my Tampa Bay Rays can't bring enough people to the park even after a WS appearence. Part of it is the stadium (crappy place), but part is the argument above and the Charlotte factor I mentioned as well.

    This might be a forum split...
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    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    What about New Orleans? They're not really close to any other MLB market, and the locals definitely support their home teams. The Hornets seem to be doing well since moving there, and that's including the couple of years they were split between there and OKC after Katrina.

    Or Salt Lake City? It's quite a drive to Denver or Phoenix, the next closest MLB markets, and Salt Lake City teams seem to have strong fan support (Real Salt Lake has one of the highest attendance averages in MLS, the Jazz have strong support). Also, the family-oriented nature of baseball, especially in comparison to other sports, seems well suited to the LDS-heavy population of the metro area, while the hardcore baseball culture tends to do well in more urban/liberal populations that you see in SLC proper (remember Rocky Anderson?).
    Last edited by TexanOkie; 30 Mar 2010 at 12:34 PM.

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    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    My beloved Braves were too good during the 90s for me to be turned off to baseball.

    Quote Originally posted by Brocktoon View post
    I wanted to see how the 1994 season was going to play out, if Atlanta was going to catch Montreal and if Tony Gwynn was going to hit .400.
    Yeah...best chance the Expos ever had to make a run at a World Series title...and a good showing in the playoffs could have increased their revenue stream and allowed them to keep more of their good players. That franchise still hasn't recovered.



    Off-topic:
    SLC might be the best idea I've seen floated for a new franchise location...then again, I think MLB should contract by about six teams...
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

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    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by Bubba View post
    Off-topic:
    SLC might be the best idea I've seen floated for a new franchise location...then again, I think MLB should contract by about six teams...
    That raises another question: which teams should be cut?

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    Off-topic:


    That raises another question: which teams should be cut?
    My picks......Florida and Washington. We'd have 6 five-team divisions. Although there would have to be some realignment since they're both in the National League East.
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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Brocktoon View post
    As for cities that could support a MLB team:
    3rd team in NYC
    Maybe there's room in the NYC market, but I just don't think there would be enough support in NYC proper for a 3rd team. If they built the stadium in central Jersey though? Or in the middle of Connecticut? The northeast is the most rapid baseball market in the country so I think it could work somewhere around NYC. No way there could ever be another team in New England other than the Red Sox of course

    I agree with TexanOkie that Utah might work. I also think possibly Orlando (as crazy as that sounds due to baseball's track record in FL)- just see Orlando as a better metro for baseball than MIami/Ft. lauderdale or Tampa/St. Petersburg. What about Tulsa, OK or N.W. Arkansas?
    Last edited by Gedunker; 30 Mar 2010 at 3:09 PM. Reason: quote tag

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    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    What about Tulsa, OK or N.W. Arkansas?
    Not enough population, too close to KC, STL, and DFW markets, AND the local population doesn't really care about anything but football. College football. Oklahoma City gets away with the Thunder because they draw on the whole state for support, and basketball is the only pro sport that might get more attention than it's college equivalent.

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    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    Off-topic:
    That raises another question: which teams should be cut?
    The number 6 (for the number of teams to be contracted) came from an idea of realigning back to two divisons in each league, but maybe just two would be sufficient. My candidates would be Florida, Washington (put that franchise out of its misery), KC, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Toronto...take your pick.


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    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bubba View post
    The number 6 (for the number of teams to be contracted) came from an idea of realigning back to two divisons in each league, but maybe just two would be sufficient. My candidates would be Florida, Washington (put that franchise out of its misery), KC, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Toronto...take your pick.


    ducks and runs
    Would it be likely that MLB leadership, if was even politically feasible (it's not), would just cut the 6 least valuable franchises? http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/article/120225

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    Would it be likely that MLB leadership, if was even politically feasible (it's not), would just cut the 6 least valuable franchises? http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/article/120225
    In reality, I will be extremely shocked if there is any contraction in any of the four major North American professional sports.
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    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    The weather in SLC is too nasty (cold winters and hot summers)...unless you did a dome. I don't see SLC doing a large publicly financed stadium. But they could be a good place for baseball.

    I am not a fan of contraction, too many places have built stadiums and there is no way you could pull it off. Plus there is no reason to remove a few teams, it costs money, reduces revenue and the players union would strike before they would allow a bunch of its members to be let go.

    Just get rid of the unbalanced schedule and go back to two divisions. This makes the wild card fair since everyone has played the same teams, with the exception of interleague. I would rather see expasion of two teams to have two -16 team leagues.

    Another thought is to do a dramatic realignment. I think baseball should go to a East and West division. Given the number of games and the amount of travel you might see a better product if a team did not have to go across the country 25 times a year.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  13. #13
    As an avid baseball fan, I'd love to see Birmingham pick up an MLB team (despite my overall negative view of my hometown). Some of the cities listed have MSAs very close in size to us (1.1 million in the metro). Raleigh-Durham and Memphis specifically come to mind. I know the whole state of Alabama is Braves country though (I understand that's the closest team to us, but seriously.............nobody in Atlanta, especially not Birmingham, identifies with Atlanta or Georgia, but I digress). Also from what I understand MLB requires a larger fan base than either the NFL or the NBA. MLB stadiums tend to have a capacity of *at least* 75,000, often more. I think this is why, in the South for example, MLB teams are few and far in between compared to either NBA or the NFL.

    In the South, Nashville, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta, Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, and Charlotte all have NFL teams. That's 9 teams.

    Memphis, Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston, Dallas, Orlando, Miami, and Charlotte all have NBA teams. That's 8 teams.

    However, in MLB only Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Tampa, and Miami have teams. That's only 5 cities.

    Quote Originally posted by Brocktoon View post
    The weather in SLC is too nasty (cold winters and hot summers)...unless you did a dome. I don't see SLC doing a large publicly financed stadium. But they could be a good place for baseball.

    I've never been to Utah, but is it seriously that bad? I mean, even the Twins who play in frickin MINNESOTA are opening up a new stadium this year with a retractable roof.
    Last edited by Gedunker; 30 Mar 2010 at 3:10 PM. Reason: seq. posts

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    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    What if they canned interleague play? I was never that big a fan of it to begin with. Some parts are cool, like getting to see teams you never had the chance to before and creating/intensifying rivalries, but I think it lowers the impact of the World Series - if the two teams haven't played each other already during the season, you can get a general sense of which team is probably more likely to win based on common opponents or general league-vs-league stats. Getting rid of it would also free of a good portion of scheduling to allow teams more flexibility, breaks, or a shorter overall season (no more November World Series).

    Just my 2˘.

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jazzman View post
    MLB stadiums tend to have a capacity of *at least* 75,000, often more. I think this is why, in the South for example, MLB teams are few and far in between compared to either NBA or the NFL.
    MLB stadiums average no where near 75,000 seats. I'd say more like 40,000 - 45,000. Another thing that plays into where teams locate/relocate is the local TV territorial rights. There's a map out there somewhere on the internet which shows this.

    Also, I don't believe the Twins' new stadium is going to have a retractable roof. But I'm very happy the Homerdome is going away, as a Tigers fan!
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    What if they canned interleague play? I was never that big a fan of it to begin with. Some parts are cool, like getting to see teams you never had the chance to before and creating/intensifying rivalries, but I think it lowers the impact of the World Series - if the two teams haven't played each other already during the season, you can get a general sense of which team is probably more likely to win based on common opponents or general league-vs-league stats. Getting rid of it would also free of a good portion of scheduling to allow teams more flexibility, breaks, or a shorter overall season (no more November World Series).

    Just my 2˘.


    I think you make a good choice for getting rid of interleague play. It was started back in the late 1990s when MLB was still trying to attract back the fans it lost during the '94 strike. Fans liked seeing these teams that ordinarily wouldn't play face off against each other (especially in cities that have two teams, one in each league, i.e. Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York) but still. You make a good point. Part of the fun of World Series play is seeing AL vs NL which you never see any other time.

    More flexibility in scheduling is a good argument as well, although if I remember correctly, every major sports league (NFL, NBA, NHL, etc) played their season about a week late in 2001-2002 because of 9/11 attacks, and then from that season on, everybody continues to play a week later. Case in point - the Super Bowl used to be the last week of January, now it's the first week of February.

    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    MLB stadiums average no where near 75,000 seats. I'd say more like 40,000 - 45,000. Another thing that plays into where teams locate/relocate is the local TV territorial rights. There's a map out there somewhere on the internet which shows this.


    Really???? I suppose someplace old like Wrigley wouldn't hold that many, but some of these newer ones are pretty huge.

    If it is possible to support an MLB team with only 40,000 seats Birmingham should definitely look into it. We're getting to ready to build a controversial new domed stadium/convention center expansion downtown. One of the criticisms levied against is that with a planned capacity of ~ 40,000 seats, it's too large for basketball games but too small for football games.
    Last edited by Gedunker; 30 Mar 2010 at 3:10 PM. Reason: seq. posts

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jazzman View post
    Really???? I suppose someplace old like Wrigley wouldn't hold that many, but some of these newer ones are pretty huge.

    If it is possible to support an MLB team with only 40,000 seats Birmingham should definitely look into it. We're getting to ready to build a controversial new domed stadium/convention center expansion downtown. One of the criticisms levied against is that with a planned capacity of ~ 40,000 seats, it's too large for basketball games but too small for football games.
    40,000 may not seem like a lot, but you have to fill it 81 times per year. As opposed to the NFL, where the Lions only have to fill 65,000 seats 8 times per year.
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  18. #18
    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    MLB stadiums average no where near 75,000 seats. I'd say more like 40,000 - 45,000. Another thing that plays into where teams locate/relocate is the local TV territorial rights. There's a map out there somewhere on the internet which shows this.

    Also, I don't believe the Twins' new stadium is going to have a retractable roof. But I'm very happy the Homerdome is going away, as a Tigers fan!

    According to Target Field's official website it has a roof canopy. Not sure exactly what that is to be honest with you. But in any case, it's certainly not a dome. If it's a traditional open-air stadium, that proves my point even more.

    When I go to Minneapolis next week, I want to get another look at it. I saw it under construction last year when I went to conference.

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    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Within northern California, I think that the A's will do fine with a decent stadium, regardless of whether that stadium ends up being an urban Oakland station or a suburban Fremont station. Their current stadium is just horrible for baseball.

    The A's will hit one out of the park if they can finally succeed in getting the Giants to give up territorial rights to Santa Clara County, and locate a stadium in downtown San Jose (across the street from where the NHL Sharks play and practically on top of the new BART/Caltrain/CAHSR/Amtrak/light rail station). Silicon Valley dollars have really been relatively untapped by pro sports, from a luxury box and sponsorship perspective.

    Other than that possible move, I think that Sacramento could potentially be a home for a new team. It's fairly close to the Bay Area's two teams, but it does have some great urban locations for baseball, and the entire northern Central Valley is growing like mad (some parts have slowed down the past couple of years, but others have not).

    I also like the idea of SLC or Vegas getting a team, but I think SLC is probably still a decade away from being big enough, and Vegas still has, you know...
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    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Per Wikipedia, the largest MLB stadium is Dodger Stadium, which comes in at 56,000 seats.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ms_by_capacity
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

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    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CJC View post
    I also like the idea of SLC or Vegas getting a team, but I think SLC is probably still a decade away from being big enough, and Vegas still has, you know...
    I don't know - the Wasatch Front urban area (SLC + Ogden + Provo) has a population over 2 million. That's larger than the Kansas City and Milwaukee metro areas, about the same as Cincinnati's and Pittsburgh's, and only slightly smaller than the Denver and San Diego metropolitan areas. I guess it's a little more spread out than the others, though (80 miles from Ogden to Provo). Still, they'd probably also get fans from southern Idaho (Boise, Idaho Falls, Pocatello), and portions of Colorado and Wyoming west of the Rockies (Rock Springs, Jackson Hole). Even though it'd be quite a drive to a game, it's still closer than Denver, Seattle, or the Bay Area.

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    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    When the first idea of contraction came across, they were talking about contracting the Expos and the Twins because of their losing records. I thought it was a bad idea. Think about this - if MLB would have takled about it in the late 1980s, who do you think would have been top of the contraction pool? The Braves and the Indians. My buddy bubba now lists 6 teams - all with losing track records.

    The last expansion was stupid (even though I'm a Rays fan).

    Suggestions:
    First alignemnt divisions with equal number of teams - utlimatley though have four divisions in each league, but you'd have to add two teams. For grins let's add SLC and Memphis.
    NL East - Phillies, Nationals, Marlins, Mets
    NL Central - Reds, Cards, Braves, Pirates
    NL Midwest - Rockies, Cubs, Astros, Brewers
    NL West - Didgers, Giants, Padres, Diamondbacks
    AL East - Yankmees, Red Sox, Rays, Orioles
    AL Centrail - Tigers, Indians, Jays, Memphis
    AL Midwest - Royals, White Sox, Twins, Rangers
    AL West - Angels, Mariners, A's, SLC

    Then eliminate the wildcard

    If you're going to keep interleague play, play four series a year, one from each of the new four divisions

    (and while we're at it get rid of the DH)
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  23. #23
    Quote Originally posted by Bubba View post
    Per Wikipedia, the largest MLB stadium is Dodger Stadium, which comes in at 56,000 seats.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ms_by_capacity


    I can't believe MLB stadiums are that small. Wow. Learn something new every day.

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    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    I don't know - the Wasatch Front urban area (SLC + Ogden + Provo) has a population over 2 million. That's larger than the Kansas City and Milwaukee metro areas, about the same as Cincinnati's and Pittsburgh's, and only slightly smaller than the Denver and San Diego metropolitan areas. I guess it's a little more spread out than the others, though (80 miles from Ogden to Provo).
    There are other metros close by those other places, and/or decades and decades of history and dedicated fan bases (allowing some of those metros, like Pittsburgh for example, to bat above their expected average, based on population and demographics alone) . Draw a 150 mile circle around SLC and the population is basically the same as the immediate urban area, perhaps 100,000 more. Do that around any of the others that you mention and you snag at least a few hundred thousand more, sometimes millions more (San Diego, Milwaukee).

    I do think that SLC could probably do as well or better than Kansas City (a team struggling to survive for what? Twenty years?), but I think it would take public financing of a stadium to lure any team there. I don't see SLC committing to that (nor do I think they should).

    If we're discussing SLC, I think you could lump Portland into the same category.
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  25. #25
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jazzman View post
    I can't believe MLB stadiums are that small. Wow. Learn something new every day.
    Actually Fenway is smaller and some of the new stadiums are targeting 40k, but I don't know them off the top of my head.
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