MLB likes Las Vegas.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said he “love to get to 32 teams.” That means Manfred wants to add two teams to the mix at some point in the future. But there are some roadblocks to his plan. MLB officials want to see new stadiums built for the Oakland Athletics and the Tampa Bay Rays. The Athletics’ situation is moving ahead at a much faster pace than the Rays’ ballpark situation. Athletics owner John Fisher is playing Oakland against Las Vegas in the stadium game with Oakland possibly in the lead after a local commission said Fisher could build a stadium-village on the Oakland waterfront and Oakland has decided local residents don’t have to vote on the stadium plan. Tampa Bay Rays’ ownership seemingly is waiting for a new St. Petersburg proposal. Manfred has gone on record saying that MLB likes Las Vegas.
That could mean that Las Vegas would end up with an expansion franchise and MLB needs two teams when it expands, if it expands. Las Vegas is a clear frontrunner, with perhaps Nashville in the second position. Montréal seemed to be in a lead position when the Tampa Bay Rays “Sister City” plan of splitting home games between some place in the Tampa Bay area and Montréal was being laid out. There are people in Portland, Oregon who want a Major League Baseball team. Throw Charlotte into the mix as well. Former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam who is buying into the National Hockey League’s Nashville Predators franchise said that “I think Major League Baseball makes sense for Nashville. There are a couple of big problems that have to be solved.” The big problem is the lack of a Major League Baseball stadium in the region. Las Vegas does not have a stadium plan at the moment, nor does Montréal. Expansion is not on the front burner.
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