Before tonight’s tilt between the Diamondbacks and Padres, the Arizona organization honored the late Kevin Towers, who previously served as general manager with both clubs. The D-Backs dedicated his former Chase Field suite as “Kevin’s Tower.” The widely-loved executive passed away this January at 56 years of age.
As we join once more in a tip of the cap to Towers, here are some worthwhile links from around the game:
- The effort to bring a MLB team to Portland appears to be growing in seriousness, as Gordon Friedman of The Oregonian recently reported. Portland Diamond Project, the entity spearheading the effort, has submitted bids on two parcels that could potentially house 32,000-seat ballparks. Clearly, there’s still a long ways to go before anybody will be watching a major-league contest in Portland, but it’ll certainly be interesting to see whether that municipality (and a few others) end up as serious suitors for existing or expansion franchises.
- It wasn’t long ago that the Giancarlo Stanton trade drama, rather than his scuffles at the plate, was the hot topic in baseball. If you recall, before the Yankees got involved heavily, the Marlins had set deals with both the Giants and Cardinals in hopes that Stanton would waive his no-trade clause to join one of those blue-blood organizations. There were varying reports at the time as to just what package would have been headed from San Francisco to Miami had Stanton approved, but Robert Murray of Fan Rag now claims to have discovered the true offer. Lefty Andrew Suarez and third baseman Jacob Gonzalez were the prospect pieces in the deal, says Murray, while the Fish also would have taken on Denard Span and his contract. Otherwise, the Giants were said to be prepared to take on all (or substantially all) of the Stanton contract.
- Draft season is upon us, and we’re starting to see some early mocks and rankings. We’ll try to pass along worthwhile links as they come in. Those interested in seeing how things are shaping up will want to check out the top-fifty list of ESPN.com’s Keith Law (Insider link), who tabs Auburn righty Casey Mize as an easy choice as the top overall draft asset as things stand. That seems to be the consensus; Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs say the same.
A 32,000 ballpark would be the smallest park in the Major Leagues. Small park, likely small TV deal. Better potential venues than Portland. San Antonio, Nashville and even Montreal if they get a new downtown stadium would be better.
Tropicana is under 32,000. But they’ve only gotten about 20k on average 4 years in their history.
My guess is if an expansion were to happen Portland would be 1 of 2 locations. Montreal and San Antoinio might be the best bets other wise. Possible Vegas. Though I’d suspect Portland Maine would be a better venue than Portland Oregon. At least in Maine there would be pull from the New York and Boston fan bases.
San Antonio would be hard. Like in football the owners do not want another Texas team. Besides Austin would be better. They could even take over RR express. Wouldn’t it be crazy to have a Triple-A team right there?
SA is the slowest runner in a four team race. Atx has the money and population boom. DFW and HOU are established big markets. San Antonio just keeps reminding everyone they used to be part of the triangle.
I think Nashville would make a great new franchise. It’s growing in leaps
and bounds . It already has a good sports scene.
Just to straighten out and clarify a few fuzzy facts.
Tropicana seats 42,000. Has been open for 21 years. Generally gets under 20,000 average attendance per game.
Tropicana’s official listed capacity is 31.042. The next smallest is Progressive Field in Cleveland at 35,051.
Portland Maine would never pull fans from two of the most historic franchises in MLB.
I think you are underestimating Portland. It is a fast growing region and the fan support of the other franchises there (Timbers and Blazers) is phenomenal. Moreover, it creates a needed rivalry with Seattle and helps with geographical balance and travel for other west coast franchises. Nothing wrong with the candidates you mention and I would also add Charlotte to your list, but Portland is a viable location too.
My issue is those are different sports with potentially different fan bases. Part of the MLB’s expansion into Florida was based on large fan bases of other sports, MLB fans already are present in ST games, etc. Yet both teams have suffered low turn outs in even their best years.
Personally I think the best cities are where there are established fan bases looking to change allegiances to the closer home town team.
Yes but that’s exactly the problem in Florida isn’t it? They’re all Yankees or Braves fans so they don’t care about the Rays.
Attendance revenue is a smaller part of the revenue pie than ever before. For much of Fenways history it had only 35K seats.
Montreal should never have an MLB franchise ever again. The spring training games Toronto plays before opening day are mostly Toronto fans driving up to Montreal. To find a location for a new stadium would be a nightmare, and the fiscally irresponsible province would make taxpayers pay for the stadium regardless of what is being said by politicians and media.
Olympic Stadium has a subway stop right at the stadium. That still wasn’t enough to entice people to attend games. This the same franchise that broke 1-mil in attendance once between 1998-2004 because of the games they played in Puerto Rico. They averaged under 8,000 one season.
San Antonio and Portland would be much better spots. Same for Nashville, maybe even Charlotte. I’ll add an outside the box location; Omaha.
I agree on Nashville
I’ve recently pondered how effective a smaller capacity stadium would be for a franchise. At 25-35k one would think the architect could ensure great views and luxurious amenities throughout while getting creative with design and seating. As long as the avg attendance was solid they wouldn’t be losing much revenue on those missing seats.
“And even Montreal” why do people keep expecting a team to be in Montreal?
Because it’s the largest city in the US or Canada without MLB.
People didn’t show up to watch the team because the onfield product was a complete joke for close to a decade.
They had a winning record two of their last three seasons in Montreal.
And people still didn’t bother to show up.
Are we talking about an expansion team or relocation of the failed Rays? Tampa Bay will likely never get its pipe dream downtown stadium and will eventually sell to an out of state buyer. To expand before settling the long term vote viability of the Rays would be DUMB.
It seems baseball is looking to settle the Rays and A’s stadium situations, then expand by two teams. At least that seems to be the tone of most of the reporting I’ve read.
Las Vegas Rays! It just fits. LoL
San Jose has more people, money and a bigger market than any of those cities, Manfred needs to IMMEDIATELY remove the Giants disgustingly-acquired “territorial rights” to SJ the Oakland A’s literally gave them in 1992 because the Giants kept saying they wanted to move there…but didn’t? The Giants lied, cheated and stole those rights from Oakland and the fact that Selig was a non-factor in removing them once the new park in SF opened, is one of his worst failures as commish.
There’s zero reason for these BS “rights” to exist, the Giants are right downtown in a major American tourist hub, they are always going to draw a crowd and don’t need to “own” an area further away from them that is also past Oakland, and San Jose has more people than Oakland and loyal, rabid fans (go to the Tank sometime or even a Quakes game) who deserve more than an A-ball team. YES the Bay Area can have 3 teams! Or either move the A’s or Rays there or just give them a new franchise. SJ has better weather than all places mentioned and also just in general all around the league outside of SoCal.
I still can’t get over how MLB blocked the A’s from moving further away from SF due to these rights that were given to the the Giants to SAVE THEIR TEAM from moving to Tampa Bay in 1992. Giants ownership will always be vile scumbags in my eyes and I’m also not a Dodgers or A’s fan despite my screen name. Just on paper, this stinks.
I believe that the land set aside for a downtown ballpark in San Jose has been or is in the process of being sold to Google. I think San Jose has given up on ever getting the A’s.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong about a 32,000 seat stadium for baseball, especially if it’s privately financed. That’s similar to the Red Sox situation until they started expanding. The bulk of revenue comes from TV anyway, and sellouts will increase competition for seats. A smaller ballpark would also be easier for a retractable roof, which would be necessary in Portland. The location also helps fill in a gap on the west coast, and assuming it would be an AL team, would move either Houston or Texas out of the AL west, where neither team belongs.
Portland Oregon has 650,000 people; 2,500,000 metro. Portland Maine has 70,000 people, 500,000 metro. So no, I think Maine is okay with their AA team.
Lol, wrong Portland
No, he’s actually replying to the guy above who said that Portland, ME would be better than Portland, OR
Lol, short attention span
Would love mlb to expand to portland. The timbers fans are amazing! I know baseball atmosphere is dull compared to soccer, but if the fans bring half as much passion as the timbers fans do, they would instantly be among the best in baseball
I think Portland Baseball is a good idea. However it would take time to build up a fan base, just as it has taken time for the Marlins to do the same though I imagine a smart sports fan would point out that it might not take as long as the Marlins as long as incompetent ownership doesnt plague them so long Marlins fans have had to endure.
You have to build a culture for O’Regan because the baseball fans in Oregon have been cheering for other teams, Mariners, Athletics, Giants etc for a long time. But the rivalry this would create between the Mariners and the emergent Portland team seems very natural.
I never understood the “natural rivalry” argument. It didn’t happen in DFW/Houston and it hasn’t happened anywhere else; there really are no true geographic rivals in baseball and I’m not sure there ever have been. If visiting fans flooding the stadium constitutes a rivalry (i.e Cubs in Milwaukee), Seattle already has the Blue Jays.
You wouldn’t include the Yankees/Red Sox or Dodgers/Giants?
The key is whether there’s a rivalry between the cities in general There is between New York and Boston or New York and Philadelphia. Or Los Angeles and San Francisco.
And there is between Portland and Seattle.
Brew is right. The rivalry between Portland and Seattle was there before any sports team occurred because both cities alhave similar geography, similar climate, both are major west coast cities but Seattle is gets a lot more attention for the same things Portland has. I live close to Seattle and Portland kind of feels like Seattle’s pesky little brother.
Vegas would seem to be a better candidate for MLB team due to weather and fan support. Weather in Portland outside stadium could be a problem
Weather in an outdoor stadium is a problem in Vegas too
Wouldn’t be an outdoor stadium in Vegas obviously. Vegas has a tremendous revenue stream,successful new Hockey team,and the Raiders.
Vegas is a tough sell for me. I live here but I’m just not confident we can sufficiently support for 81 home games. We may end up with a slightly lesser number if the reg season is reduced but even at 77 games thats a lot of tickets to sell.
The weather wouldn’t be a problem. Summer isn’t a rainy time of the year in Portland. It actually has ideal weather for baseball. Once it stops raining in May, there’s only a handful of days it will even be cloudy until October. Temps in the 70’s & 80’s during the day. And the rain Portland typically gets is usually more of a mist/drizzle It’s just constant from October to May.
April and early May might be a problem, but less than any other northern city (and it is northern; it’s further north than Portland, ME). There’s also a practically zero chance of snow.
Nobody can honestly say they think Portland would be a good MLB town, they’re just showing more drive than the other potential bad MLB towns that get thrown around a lot (Charlotte, Nashville, San Antonio, Montreal etc.)
IMO, there’s literally one single market that expansion would work in and it’s Las Vegas. MLB would accept bids from Mogadishu or Pyongyang before Vegas so the whole subject is a waste of time.
If the king of the hill..The NFL..can move the Raiders it would be stupid not to move a team to Vegas. But of course MLB will lag behind the other leagues even more and is in danger of losing third place to soccer.
But football and hockey don’t have nearly as many games. With Vegas having so many other entertainment pulls it seems like a tough market to sell 30,000 tickets for 81 games. Meanwhile, Charolette and Montreal have huge baseball followings. Not saying Vegas couldn’t succeed but the sports in Vegas have excellent game structure for success in the city.
When considering expansion, people should stop focusing on attendance and ticket sales and look at TV markets.
Why would MLB want another team in Montreal? First, Montreal is big and Quebec is bigger. It’s the largest market in the US or Canada without an MLB team by more than a million people. Second, they have their own French language versions of ESPN, etc (more than one, which means a bidding war) which means a very big TV deal for the league, far more than a standard RSN.
Manfred has cited Montreal by name for a reason.
There are a few potential problems with Portland. Will the Mariners give up their TV market (much of that franchises’ value is based on owning most the US NW)? How far into Northern CA do the Giants control? They showed with the A’s that they only look out for themselves, so they won’t be sharing.
Charlotte makes some sense in that it’s got enough population and a large enough TV market without harming the Nats or Braves too much.
Vegas makes the most sense assuming they build a dome or a retractable roof stadium.
Exactly. It’s all about The Money, and TV markets are a major component of that, both in generating revenue and building franchise value. Charlotte and Las Vegas are, to me, the clear leaders in terms of untapped (sort of) TV markets that would not infringe too badly upon other franchises. It would be much harder to sell Portland (either of them) and San Antonio to the MLB owners, as both markets infringe upon two others. Montreal could fly, but it would need a real venue and a Sugar Daddy – neither of which are likely anytime soon, and the Sugar Daddy could not be the Fun Size version, but one of those 50 lb. novelty monsters.
In a few decades, perhaps, maybe, might we see a franchise (Oakland? Tampa?) move to Havana?
The problem with Charlotte is baseball isn’t very popular in the south it has to be a place where the fans want to see the teams play
That’s not correct at all. Minor league baseball is booming in the Charlotte, Columbia, and Charleston area. Tickets can be hard to come by. Same goes for the Savannah Bananas college wood bat team. Youth baseball and travel baseball is huge in the south as well throughout Georgia and the Carolinas.
A baseball team somewhere in the Charlotte/Greenville/Columbia/Raleigh would not only draw locals, but if could be placed on the southeastern area of Charlotte it would also draw tourists visiting the coast.
MLB needs to just get out in front of population surges and other aspects like the NFL’s near-collapse and put teams in the following places and call it a day:
With the game getting bigger and bigger due to the NFLs whole “if you play this game you absolutely will get CTE” thing, parents will soon be pulling them out of that game and putting them baseball and basketball, where their kids are far less likely to get CTE. On top of that, there’s more countries playing it and providing playing MLB quality talent (guten tag Max Kepler, goeie dag Gift Ngope, gera diena Dovydas Neverauskas) now more than ever and with the “Big 5” countries where baseball is considered the national sport (US, Japan, Cuba, DR, Venez) churning out more players than ever before, MLB should be looking to go into even more markets.
Do it asap, why not? It’s clear there’s enough talent getting shut out and blocked at AAA already, just keep expanding. There’s at least half a million people in all those cities I listed and there’s places with MLB teams with populations under half a million. I know markets are different but they are also fluid.
Little heads up kids are already playing Basketball,it’s cheaper and easier to get other kids to have games with.
Oh and the “NFL’s near collapse” is just so funny..good stuff guy!!!
Orlando has Cracker Jack Staduim and just got to move fences back.
New Orleans where Saints play. Indiana where Colts play.. Green Bay where Packers play. Hawaii?
Sure thing, you definitely are delusional to think it’s totally legal for parents to give their children CTE! Soon no one under 18 will be legally allowed to play, whether you like it or not! Keep it up old man!!
You post the stupidest stuff on the web.
You’re the old man being an MLB fan..avg age 55,enjoy your AARP benefits gramps. This has got to an act to get attention cause you can’t be this ignorant!!!
Facts-Facts-Links-Links for this pile you posted. By the way a lot of great NFL players started at 18 but since the CTE thing will never happen and MLB will be 4th in popularity within the next 5 years. Take another toke.
Not enough money in Cuba!
I’d like to see Bob Kraft put an NL team in Foxboro, MA to complete his sports empire. A Forty Thousand seat stadium could easily be built here at Patriot Place.
I’m really trying to understand your post.
Isn’t Portland really cold? There plan doesn’t have a retractable roof
Minnesota literally built one knowing it snows like crazy in April. MLB is really stupid sometimes. Fact is, every team outside of CA should have to go retractable.
“Isn’t Portland really cold?”
No it isn’t. It’s milder than many east coast and northern cities; warmer in the spring and late fall, and cooler in the summer. IMO the climate there is much preferable to most of country.
c1234 you are correct about the retractable roof. When you consider Safeco Field’s roof is closed 25% of the time due to weather how can Portland get by with an open air stadium?
Portland gets less rain than Seattle. And the rain basically falls between mid-October and mid-May. There’s only a handful of days the rest of the year that even get cloudy.
Cold wouldn’t be a problem. In April, it’s in the 50’s. In May, the 60’s. In June, July, August and September, it’s in the 70’s and 80’s with a few weeks worth of 90’s scattered about. There’s practically a zero chance of snow, either early or late in the season.
April and some of May would lend itself to possible rainouts, but not really any more than any other city. It’s not raining today and it hasn’t rained hard enough to cancel a game in the last week or so.
Safeco is closed 23% of the time, which is the least of any retractable roof stadium in baseball.
The LEAST. That needs to be stressed.
All non-CA teams should have retractable roofs – facts.
There are non Cali teams that don’t need it
Houston rangers az Colorado Atlanta
St Louis, Kansas City
Stupid idea for anything Portland
They didn’t want baseball. They wanted soccer
Soccer is pretty much a way of life in the NW.
They got rid of a triple a team
The beavers who had ties there since the early parts of the 1900 in favorite of soccer
These would be the logical cities based on several variables & attributes each area offers and before I get started, there’s a need for teams in both the Inner East/Midwest & Interior west/Great Plains so automatically I mention 2 of the cities that have a LONG history of supporting amateur baseball & that would be Louisville & Omaha which in the latter situation, there’s already a modern stadium in place that can be expanded in the outfield to easily bring it up to MLB standards which is basically already there not to mention the Omaha/Council Bluffs area is growing & could draw from as far away as Des Moines which is also growing not to mention Sioux City/Falls as well as Lincoln.
Anyways here’s a list of the cities that could be operational tomorrow if need be & a couple have been mentioned before by the commissioner for consideration….
Out of this list with cities that have a stadium (albeit temporary besides Omaha) it seems only San Antonio, Montreal, & to a lesser extent Omaha, only seem plausible.
Now, the cities that would have the population but doesn’t have a stadium (even temporary) in place would be….
Salt Lake City (Over 2 mil in metro area)
Albuquerque (32nd largest city in USA)
This would seem to be the most realistic list of areas based on population although for most it’s probably a pipe dream! Moving forward & most likely sooner rather than later, we’ll see who’s serious & who’s not and let the chips fall where they may!
Potential cities/groups, bring your check book to the party…
Omaha? Seriously? Just because it’s the only town for 200 miles with a two-story building doesn’t mean it could support an MLB team.
Look at the corporate climate there not to mention what Forbes Magazine feels about the area and get back to me…
I just have to look at Omaha being the #76 TV market and know that there’s at least 20 cities in this country, and several in other countries, that would have to turn down a team before Omaha is ever even considered.
I can also look at attendance for the AAA team and see that it’s never averaged over 6000 for a season, even after they moved into a new ballpark. Always in the bottom half of the league.
You say Omaha would draw fans from Des Moines. Des Moines/Ames is a larger TV market and their AAA consistently draws more than Omaha’s. Des Moines is more likely to get a team over Omaha.
Indy,Tennessee,North Carolina,New Orleans,Buffalo,Green Bay,Jacksonville,Las Vegas have where the NFL teams play where MLB team can play.
Orlando has 4 options UCF Knights current home and former home where MLS Soccer team plays/Bowl game is held,Tinker Field,Cracker Jack Stadium.
These are the largest US TV markets that don’t have an MLB team: