Is Portland really a good MLB market?
For some reason, there is some sense of urgency in Portland, Oregon to land a Major League Baseball team. There is an ownership group ready to spend money on the endeavor which would include a new stadium. The Portland group is going after an expansion team but Major League Baseball is not even thinking of adding two teams at the moment. Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has talked about expanding in a rather vague way, yes he wants to see two more teams but there are more pressing problems including getting new ballparks in Oakland and in the Tampa Bay market. Still Portland backers are pressing ahead and would take either Oakland or Tampa Bay’s franchise in a relocation attempt. Oakland A’s ownership is seriously looking at an Oakland waterfront park and is going through the process of getting various approvals from governmental bodies. Nothing much, at least on the surface, is going on in the Tampa Bay Rays ownership quest for a new park but Rays’ ownership is stuck with a deal in St. Petersburg through 2027. Ownership can only leave if a deal reached with St. Petersburg elected officials. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim owner Arte Moreno is looking for a new stadium as are the Arizona Diamondback owners.
Portland is in a group that includes Montreal and Nashville with ownership groups ready to go. Other cities that could pique Major League Baseball’s interest include Charlotte, San Antonio, Vancouver and Las Vegas. MLB is kicking the tires in Monterrey, Mexico and has been there three times this year, once in the pre-season and twice in the regular season with games. Portland doesn’t have a useable stadium to host a game. Portland’s TV market is small. There will be questions about the viability of Portland’s corporate support. Portland is in an uphill battle in getting a franchise.