MLB Has Five Potential Trouble Spots

The business of baseball is unimpeded by virus.

The beginning of the 2020 Major League Baseball regular season is nowhere in sight but now is a good time to look at possible MLB franchise trouble spots. A number of owners want new or renovated stadiums at a time when municipalities are pressed for money because of the COVID-19 economic shutdown. In Anaheim, Angels owner Arte Moreno may end up getting Anaheim public land near the municipal stadium. He might have to choose between renovating the old place or just build a new one next to the old structure. In Oakland, A’s ownership is attempting to push ahead, despite challenges, to get a baseball stadium and surrounding village built on the Oakland waterfront not far from Jack London Square. A’s ownership is trying to gain approval from various local and state agencies to build the stadium by 2023. A’s ownership could use the Oakland Coliseum-Arena sports complex land as a fall back option to build a baseball park should the waterfront stadium fail to get needed the government support.

It appears Toronto Blue Jays ownership wants to do something with its 31-year-old stadium. The question of whether to reinvest in the present stadium or build something new has not been answered. In Phoenix, the Arizona Diamondbacks ownership seems to be committed to keep the team in downtown Phoenix for now. The owners looked at Las Vegas and Vancouver as relocation sites. Eight years remain on the Diamondbacks-Phoenix lease to use the downtown park. MLB’s biggest stadium problem is in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Rays ownership has struck out in an attempt to build a ballpark in Ybor City and there is the notion that the Rays franchise could eventually split time between St. Petersburg or Tampa and Montreal. Rays owner Stu Sternberg thinks neither city is capable of supporting a team on a full-time basis.

FILE – In this Aug. 17, 2019, file photo, Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout drives in two runs with a single against the Chicago White Sox during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)