Major League Baseball hasn’t expanded since 1998, but if there is MLB expansion, here are seven potential cities for new teams.
MLB has toyed with the idea of expansion, not having done so since 1998, when league added the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay then-Devil Rays as their 29th and 30th teams.
The last expansion in all of professional sports in North America was the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, and in 2021, Seattle will play host to a professional hockey team for the first time since 1975.
As hockey tries to grow in all four corners of the United States, baseball has not done the same.
Instead, the Tampa Bay Rays have closed off thousands of seats, and the Marlins brought in just 5,297 people to a game last August. Sure, the Marlins stink, and Tropicana Field is a dump that’s almost impossible to get to, but baseball needs to grow. A farfetched plan has been discussed to have the Rays split their season between Florida and Canada.
It might be too quick to move those two teams, but there are some other cities that could use a professional ball club. Here are seven potential ideas for cities, team names, and, just for fun, the closest MLB team to that city in terms of miles.
Closest team: Atlanta Braves (248 miles)
Nashville have the Sounds, which is the Triple-A affiliate for the Texas Rangers. According to MiLB.com, their average attendance was 8,631, which was the third-highest in all of Minor League Baseball, including 23 sellouts. Not bad for a place with the best bars in the country — so I’ve been told.
Nashville is currently home to almost 700,000 people, and around 30,000 people have moved to the city since 2016. It is rapidly becoming not only a hot spot for bachelor and bachelorette parties, or country singers to chase their dreams, but for people to make their permanent home.
Nashville is already home to the Predators and the Titans. Of course, they are both playoff teams, but Bridgestone Arena seats 17,159 people for hockey games – the Predators averaged 17,407 fans (101.7 percent) this season before the season was paused. The Titans fill up a drop over 93 percent of the 69,143 seats at Nissan Stadium. But nonetheless, people show up to the games. Even over 59,000 people saw the debut of MLS expansion team, Nashville SC, at Nissan Stadium.
Nashville would naturally be a hot spot. And I think my team name kinda flows, too. Utah Jazz, St. Louis Blues…