Jesse Spector, national baseball writer for Sporting News, published an online article on July 11, 2017, regarding potential cities for MLB expansion:
Nashville? Here we go again. Hasn’t this story been written repeatedly?
I realize it is pure conjecture, but I think we have a long way to go, way down the road. We have no organized movement, no one with big bucks to step up to the plate (pun intended), and no place to play. So how can Nashville be on the list?
Sure, there could be an opportunity for a team to move, but the most logical choices are the Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays. Both are in talks to build new stadiums. The Marlins are for sale for $1 billion. Know anyone who wants to buy them and move the franchise to Nashville?
And what would an expansion team cost? More than that.
Music City has only been a “big” city for a very short time, having just recently passed Memphis with Tennessee’s largest population, but there is always the chance of a crash as the growth has happened so fast. MLB would never take a chance on that in the short-term.
Since Atlanta, St. Louis, and Cincinnati are within 4 1/2 hours driving distance, it is doubtful MLB would want to dilute those fan bases. With those three cities being in the National League, Nashville could only become an American League city at that.
One never knows which cities are on the radar for team relocation or expansion unless it is heard straight from the commissioner. He did that yesterday during a press conference in Miami at the 2017 All Star Game:
Montreal, Charlotte, and Mexico City top MLB commissioner Manfred’s list. Nashville? Not mentioned…
Lastly, The Tennessean published a story by USA Today’s Getahn Ward about another important subject: the cost of residing in our fair city, which now takes a salary of $70,150 to live in Nashville today:
Nashville ranks as the No. 1 single-family housing market, according to the source in the article; the other the top five cities include Orlando, Fla., and Fort Worth, Dallas and San Antonio, Texas.
Key words: “single-family”. Which means, “on a budget”. To take it a step further, which single families are taking the crew to a major league game right now? According to statista.com, the average price of a ticket to an MLB game is $31.00. People on a budget certainly are not; according to baseball-reference.com, attendance is declining.
Remember, the NFL Tennessee Titans and NHL Nashville Predators are already here, battling for the same pro sports bucks versus each other. That’s without taking into consideration another potential major sports franchise, Major League Soccer, which would make ticket sales even more competitive.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see the New York Yankees come to Nashville for a regular-season game, but I’m afraid it won’t happen in my lifetime.
Here’s my advice for lovers of professional baseball in Nashville: go watch the Nashville Sounds at First Tennessee Park. They are here, and now. For a while.
© 2017 by Skip Nipper. All Rights Reserved.