No MLB Expansion Until Stadium Problems Are Resolved in Milwaukee and Phoenix?

MLB seems to have more than two stadium issues.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred talks a lot about expansion once stadium situations have been resolved in the Oakland and Tampa Bay markets. The solution with the Oakland market will be this, the franchise owner John Fisher will pick up the business and leave for Las Vegas once his lease with Oakland ends following the 2024 season. That could change, of course. There is no solution in sight in the Tampa Bay market, just a notion that a stadium-village could be built in St. Petersburg. But Oakland and Tampa Bay are not the only markets with stadium situations. In Phoenix, the owners of the Diamondbacks franchise are looking at either getting a new ballpark or renovating the present Phoenix stadium. The Diamondbacks owners’ lease with Maricopa County ends in 2027. Then there is the Milwaukee Brewers franchise and its stadium situation.

Earlier this year, Rob Manfred rode into Milwaukee and let Milwaukee and Wisconsin politicians know who the boss is. It is Manfred and he wants Milwaukee and Wisconsin elected officials to get money together, more than $400 million, and fix up the Milwaukee Brewers’ home field or else. His blank assessment of the 22-year-old stadium is that the ballpark is not being maintained properly and will become a problem like Oakland. Manfred did not threaten that the business would move but by bringing up John Fisher’s impending move from Oakland to Las Vegas it is an implied threat. Manfred told reporters it’s important that a ballpark funding plan be promptly approved by government officials. Manfred underscored the point and took a shot at Wisconsin politicians who are not yet on board with spending about four hundred million dollars in renovating the Milwaukee baseball park. The politicians are still not on board with a stadium plan and that is a problem for Milwaukee and expansion.

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Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Brandon Woodruff throws to a Tampa Bay Rays batter during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)