Manfred’s Expansion Boat Has Hit A Reef

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Tyler Alexander (14) reacts while walking back to the dugout after the seventh inning of the team’s baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday, May 17, 2024, in Toronto. (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press via AP)

There are some problems ahead.

The car that Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has been driving on the road to expansion has hit numerous potholes and it appears that there are miles of rough road surfaces ahead. In the past few years, Manfred has explained that he would like to see MLB add two teams and that once stadium issues in Oakland and St. Petersburg were settled that his industry would seriously consider adding two teams. The owners of the Tampa Bay Rays franchise and St. Petersburg elected officials have not finalized a stadium deal and John Fisher has decided to vacate Oakland and move to Las Vegas but there are stadium building issues that have cropped up in Nevada that are hindering the plans to get a stadium opened by the 2028 season. Fisher’s players will call a minor league baseball park in West Sacramento, California home for at least two and more than likely three seasons and then head to Las Vegas. Or maybe not.

A year ago, Kansas City Royals owner John Sherman wanted to begin the process of getting out of his Jackson County, Missouri stadium and move to downtown Kansas City. On April 2nd , Jackson County voters said no to extending a sales tax that was designed to go into Sherman’s planned stadium. Neighboring Kansas has said no, for now, to funding any sports venues. Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf wants to move his team closer to downtown Chicago. Reinsdorf wants public money for his proposed stadium venture and Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker is not sold on the plan. There could be stadium issues in Anaheim and in St. Louis. Arizona Diamondbacks ownership is not happy with its present facility and the team can leave the Phoenix municipally owned stadium after 2027. Manfred’s expansion car ride has slowed down.

Rob Manfred

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