MLB’s Commissioner Rob Manfred is pushing for an eventual expansion.
Major League Baseball is not adding two teams to the existing business anytime soon. There is no indication that four stadium challenged franchises, Arizona, Anaheim, Oakland and Tampa Bay, will be leaving their local markets anytime soon either. But that does not mean cities with major league aspirations aren’t maneuvering and getting into a position should a relocation or an expansion opportunity materialize. In Portland, Oregon, there is an effort underway to show Major League Baseball owners that Portland would be a great market. The Portland Diamond Project has been formed to get a Major League team in town but little is known about the group although Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has joined the group that was founded by a former sneaker company executive Craig Cheek.
The Portland group’s push for a Major League Baseball received a setback recently when it withdrew its offer to buy the Portland Public Schools property site. The group will look elsewhere. Portland has never really been a player for a Major League Baseball team although local officials during the period when Major League Baseball took over the Montreal Expos franchise between 2002 and 2004 expressed interest in bringing the franchise to Portland. The Expos franchise moved to Washington after the 2004 season. Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has thrown out the names of potential expansion cities with Montreal and Mexico City at the top. But Charlotte and Portland are on the list. Major League Baseball will not be able to move ahead with expansion plans until the four stadium situations are resolved. Allegedly Oakland will have a local spot for a stadium picked out by year’s end. Tampa Bay ownership hopes to resolve its stadium issue by December 31. It is unclear what the Anaheim and Arizona ownerships are going to do. Portland will just have to wait.