Baseball is one of North America’s oldest and most historic sports, so the opportunity for a new city to acquire a professional team is a big deal. 30 teams make up the MLB, and it has been that way for a while now. You can never become complacent in sports, so there are always rumors about possible expansion throughout the league.
An expansion would allow for more players to get chances to play and open up more job opportunities for coaches and players. While also allowing fans of those regions to gain a new team they’d follow, thus growing the game. There are big markets that could use a team, and there are small markets with passionate fans who would enjoy watching our national pastime.
As someone who enjoys marketing the idea of new teams, new logos, and new stadiums, I am excited about the possibilities that could await us down the line. Let’s delve into some of these expansion cities that could be great additions to the league.
City 1: Las Vegas
Gambling is expanding worldwide as it gains more and more popularity by the day. The market for endorsement deals and living in sin city should be enticing for players that would look to play for a team in Las Vegas. This is the most realistic and obvious option out of all the possible places for an expansion team.
With two franchises in the NHL and NFL already calling Vegas home, it would make sense for MLB to look into expanding a team into this market. It should be noted that if MLB does look to expand into this market, it would need to learn from the mistakes of the Raiders. Possibly setting a curfew and making sure players don’t go overboard.
You know the ownership of a potential Las Vegas franchise would have the stadium look state-of-the-art and modern, as we’ve seen with the Raiders new stadium. This would be enticing to fans and players and welcoming for anyone interested in this franchise. This would be a great situation when it comes to expanding the league. I believe the money-making potential would make this one of the top choices for Major League Baseball.
City 2: Nashville
This is another exciting spot for a possible expansion team. Nashville has never had a baseball team, but that would be an enticing element for fans in Tennessee. Nashville is a party city with plenty of passionate people who would buy into a baseball team.
The fan base in Nashville would make this team extremely popular, and it would be relatively easy for this new franchise to sell tickets. People coming together to watch baseball while drinking and eating is a recipe for success in my mind. There’s no true southern team besides the Braves, which gives fans a happy medium between Georgia and Ohio.
Nashville also has the power to be a solid destination for free agents and is overall a great place to live. This is a solid expansion location.
City 3: Montreal
This would be a throwback to the days when the Montreal Expos were a team. A major disappointment was when this team left Montreal for Washington after the 2004 season. This would be an easier expansion because a fan base is already in place that would appreciate this team returning.
Having a team in Montreal would allow people in Canada to have another team to root for instead of just the Toronto Blue Jays. That would allow Montreal to have a built-in fan base from the start and be an easier transition to gaining popularity.
Montreal would have to build a new ballpark as Olympic Stadium is not up to the standard of the latest high-tech stadiums we see around sports today. We’ve heard some chatter about some teams potentially moving to Montreal, such as the Tampa Bay Rays, so I believe this would make a good relocation option if it came to that.
City 4: San Antonio
The idea of a team in San Antonio has always made sense to me. Having a team in one of the most populated cities in Texas, with a large TV market, great fans, and the potential for a new state-of-the-art ballpark.
As we’ve seen with the Greg Popovich-led Spurs throughout the years, the San Antonio fans are passionate. This would make it an easier transition for expansion because fans wouldn’t need much enticing as they come out and watch the on-the-field product.
San Antonio is the second-largest market in Texas behind Houston and ahead of Dallas, third. I believe Texas could hold three baseball teams, similar to the way California can have four with the Angels, Padres, Giants, and Athletics.
City 6: Buffalo
Like in football, having three teams in New York wouldn’t hurt. Some fans probably don’t like either team, and a team in Buffalo would easily attract these fans. We’ve already seen the Blue Jays play games there due to the Covid-19 pandemic and did well drawing in fans to the ballpark.
As we know, the fans in Buffalo are extraordinarily passionate, as we’ve seen throughout the years with Bills Mafia on Sundays and the passionate Sabres fans that have stayed with the team through thick & thin.
It is extremely valuable to have a fan base that genuinely cares about the team and is willing to invest their time and money. You’ll never have to worry about this if you put a team in western New York.
City 7: Charlotte
The MLB has considered expanding to Charlotte, North Carolina, in the past. The city has been a hotbed for baseball talent in the past few years, and it would be an excellent opportunity for the MLB to expand its reach.
They currently have a AAA team that routinely leads their league in attendance, and considering Charlotte is one of the largest markets without a major league team, it could make sense.
City 8: Mexico City
Mexico City is one of the most populated cities in the world. The city has a rich history in baseball, with teams like Diablos Rojos del México being one of the most popular Mexican baseball teams. The country’s love for the sport is evident with its participation in international competitions like the World Baseball Classic and the Olympics.
The MLB has been looking for international expansion opportunities for some time now. The league has looked internationally in recent years for exhibitions such as in Japan, England, Puerto Rico, and even Cuba. You’ve seen this with the NFL playing yearly games in London and possibly moving a franchise across the Atlantic, which opens up an entirely new market.
Mexico City is an ideal candidate because it’s so close to the United States – just a few hours away by plane – but still far enough away that it would be considered an international destination by major league standards.
While it is difficult to predict where baseball will expand, these five cities seem like the most likely contenders. It would be exciting to see a new team added to the league in any of these places, as each has its own unique history and culture that would bring something new and special to MLB.
Baseball fans can only hope that the process happens sooner rather than later so we can enjoy even more of America’s favorite pastime in a new city.