MLB has not decided to expand.
The investors behind the Nashville bid to land a Major League Baseball franchise have pretty much understood that they were only going to land an expansion team. The Nashville investors led by John Loar never pursued a relocation of a franchise. The group never put in a bid for the Oakland franchise or the St. Petersburg, Florida-based Tampa Bay Rays. And Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has said the only way that Nashville will get a team is by waiting for the Oakland and St. Petersburg stadium situations to be resolved and hope MLB goes to 32 teams. Nashville would be in an expansion race with other cities.
“I think Nashville you have to think about as an expansion candidate,” Manfred said. “I think that we’ve talked about the situation in Oakland, if you follow the press in Tampa, I think Mr. (Stuart) Sternberg, the Tampa Bay Rays’ owner, much more positive about being able to get something done in Tampa, which I think is the right answer for baseball, that puts Nashville in the expansion category. I’ve said I’d like to see us get serious consideration in trying to get to 32 teams. There’s a lot of advantages to 32, and, you know, when you think about the available possibilities in terms of expansion, I think Nashville is on everybody’s list.” Nashville does not have a suitable venue but Loar is working on getting a stadium built. Loar’s Music City Baseball has a deal in place with Tennessee State University to begin evaluating an over 100-acre area of land on the college campus that could house a Major League Baseball stadium that would be built for the Nashville Stars franchise. Loar remains hopeful that his team will be hosting someone at a Nashville stadium on the opening day of the 2027 MLB season.
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