Nashville may be just a pipe dream.
In June 2018, Baltimore Sun writer Peter Schmuck had a column about the long-term future of Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles and whether that franchise could be on the move. Schmuck did not suggest the franchise would relocate but he had heard whispers that the team could leave. The Baltimore Orioles leaving tale has surfaced again. This time an outfit called the Baltimore Post-Examiner has a story about the team moving to Nashville in 2022 unless a local buyer steps up and purchases the team from the Angelos family. The Orioles-State of Maryland lease ends following the 2021 season and the Angelos family has a home near Nashville. There are two things left out of the story that might have an impact on any potential move. The Orioles stake in the local cable TV regional network and that MLB may not want to move a team to Nashville when it knows it can charge perhaps as much as $2 billion in an expansion fee. A third factor, there is no baseball park that is Major League ready in Nashville and getting public money for a Nashville baseball park could be difficult. The NFL Titans want to renovate the city’s football stadium and there is quite a bit of unhappiness with Nashville putting up a quarter of a billion dollars for an MLS soccer facility.
Orioles’ ownership has not made any announcements that it is unhappy with the ballpark or the market. The Orioles ownership and the Washington Nationals ownership have a piece of the MASN action, the Orioles franchise has about 90 percent ownership with the Nationals ownership having the remaining 10 percent. Major League Baseball was very aware that placing a team in Washington would end the Orioles monopoly in the Baltimore-Washington combined market which is why the cable television deal favored the Baltimore business.