Friday, July 11, 2008


What About Other Cities? - Portland, San Antonio, Las Vegas, and Charlotte?

An esteemed friend of mine argued against an earlier post and mentioned the cities of San Antonio, Las Vegas, and Charlotte for an MLB team.

The city of Portland is often pointed out, and Red Sox great Johnny Pesky is a big proponent of another team in the Northwest. The first big positive is that the anti-trust exemption for the Seattle Mariners doesn't go into Oregon (heck it doesn't come close). The second big positive is that they would only have to share the market with the Portland Trail Blazers.

A look at the population shows somewhere between 2.1 and 2.5 million live in the area depending on what you count as the metropolitan area.

Three to maybe five markets have populations of the same size or smaller... Milwaukee, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Tampa Bay, and Pittsburgh. Only Milwaukee ranks in the top half of the average attendance throughout the league.... which makes sense considering the fine team they have assembled. When Montreal moved to Washington, their move was into a metropolitan area that was a little less than twice as large (when cutting it in half to account for Baltimore).

San Antonio was spoken about with the Marlins in 2006, but Loria rejected a late ultimatum from the city. San Antonio already has a major league franchise with the Spurs. In terms of population, its metropolitan area is under 2 million.

Las Vegas is one city I feel would be AWFUL for a Major League Baseball team. And it can be summed up in one word: gambling. The population is at about 1.9 million with a growth of about 33% since 2000.

Charlotte is often a name thrown around during 2006 as well. It has about 2.3 million and has two major league franchises (Bobcats and Panthers). It has grown at a 20% clip since 2000 (better than both Portland and San Antonio who are in the mid 10's).

From a pure number game, it is probably a tie between Portland and Charlotte. Charlotte has greater growth, while Portland has only one major league team.

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