It’s been a while since MLB last added expansion teams, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t MLB expansion team ideas brewing. The game remains incredibly popular and will always be considered the national pastime.
Sooner or later, there will be more MLB expansion teams. Of course, that begs the question of what MLB expansion rules new teams will have to follow and what cities are potentially on deck for an MLB expansion team?
MLB expansion team ideas
There is no shortage of potential MLB expansion cities. Keep in mind there are dozens of cities that have had minor league teams for a long time. There are also large cities that host other pro sports teams but don’t have an MLB franchise.
Also, let’s not forget that baseball has international appeal, which means future MLB expansion teams could be located outside of the United States. Keeping all of that in mind, here is our list of MLB expansion team ideas and a dozen cities that could be the future home of an MLB franchise.
MLB needs to add a second team to the Pacific Northwest. The Mariners have long been isolated from the rest of the league in Seattle and need a regional rival. Plus, Portland is an amazing city that loves sports more than most people realize.
The Trail Blazers have done well there for many years and both Portland’s MLS and NWSL teams have thrived, receiving plenty of fan support. Among West Coast cities, Portland has to be at the top of the list when it comes to finding a place for MLB expansion teams.
Both Houston and the Dallas area (Arlington) have MLB teams, so why can’t San Antonio have one too?
There’s no question that the state of Texas is big enough for three pro teams in one league. If the NBA can do it, there’s no reason why MLB can’t pull it off as well.
It’s not as if the Astros and Rangers rely on their San Antonio fanbase for support. There would be more than enough support for a major league team in San Antonio. Who knows, perhaps a third team in Texas could also give the National League a team in the Lone Star State again.
If San Antonio isn’t among the ideal MLB expansion cities, then perhaps Austin would be a better fit. While it’s not the biggest city in Texas, Austin is the capital and has a rather active and outgoing population.
Outside of a new MLS team, Austin is lacking a pro sports team. It’s a city that deserves a pro sports franchise, so if the NFL isn’t going to expand there, MLB should seize the opportunity and give Austin a team.
MLB expansion in Charlotte makes too much sense not to do at some point. The city’s triple-A team has always been among the attendance leaders in the minors, so it’s not hard to envision a major league team being able to survive there.
Much like the NFL’s Panthers, an MLB franchise in Charlotte could have a fanbase throughout the Carolinas, attracting an untapped market. Baseball is popular in that part of the country, but there are no teams between Washington and Atlanta, making MLB expansion in Charlotte an obvious option.
Much like Texas, the state of Florida could surely handle a third MLB team. The city has a large enough population to support a baseball team that plays its season during a different time of year than the NBA’s Orlando Magic.
Also, central Florida is loaded with retirees who would either adopt the Orlando team as their own or support the visiting team from their former home. Plus, given the number of tourists who visit Orlando, an MLB franchise there would give visitors one more thing to do.
Of course, given everything else in Orlando, it would be easy to attract fans from visiting teams to games, so even if they aren’t going to see the home team, the Orlando franchise is still selling a lot of tickets.
You probably won’t find Albuquerque high on the list of obvious MLB expansion team ideas, but it does make sense. The city is midway between Colorado and Phoenix, almost in no man’s land. The Albuquerque Isotopes have done well in the minors for many years and an MLB expansion team would probably help attract even more fans from New Mexico, western Texas, Oklahoma, and other places.
Keep in mind that much like Denver, the city of Albuquerque is at a high elevation, so there’s every chance games there would feature a lot of scoring, which would help attendance numbers even more.
There is no question that potential MLB expansion cities will include some international locations. When MLB takes that step, Mexico City will surely be given consideration.
Geographically, it’s a little out of the way, even for teams in Southern California and Texas. However, Mexico City also has the largest population in North America. Fans would pack the stadium every night and help MLB continue to win over Latino fans.
Things seem to be working out well for the NFL in Las Vegas, which means Sin City has to be at the top of the list of MLB’s expansion team ideas. Granted, there would be challenges because it’s hot there in the summer and there are a lot of other ways for people to spend their time.
However, much like a team in Orlando would attract both residents and tourists to games, Las Vegas would do the same. Plus, with the popularity of sports betting growing, Las Vegas is an increasingly likely destination for an MLB expansion team.
With so many MLB players from the Caribbean and Latin America, MLB would be foolish not to at least consider putting a team in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The whole island would love to come out and support a major league franchise.
It’d also be interesting to see how eager all-star players, especially those from Puerto Rico, would be to sign with a San Juan franchise in free agency.
The amount of travel might complicate things a little, which is something to consider. But if MLB wanted to make a bold move and expand its footprint in a big way, an expansion team in Puerto Rico would be the way to do it.
Baseball needs to return to Montreal, it’s as simple as that.
The city would surely embrace an expansion franchise all of these years after the Expos left, making it one of the most obvious MLB expansion cities. The only obstacle is building a new stadium. But if Montreal were willing to do that, putting an expansion franchise in Montreal makes too much sense not to explore.
In many ways, Nashville is a city on the rise, so putting an MLB expansion franchise there seems like a natural fit. The city’s triple-A team does well in attendance and there is already an NFL team and an NHL team in the city.
Geographically, Nashville is smack in the middle between St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Atlanta, which means there is a huge area of baseball fans that don’t have a clear rooting interest. That problem could easily be solved with an expansion franchise in Nashville.
In terms of international expansion, don’t count out the western part of Canada. Vancouver is a great city that already has pro sports franchises and has a surprising interest in baseball. Much like Portland, a new team in Vancouver would provide a regional rival for the Mariners.
There are also plenty of current Mariners or Blue Jays fans who would immediately support an expansion team in Vancouver, making the city a natural fit.
[spreaker type=player resource=”show_id=3300147″ width=”100%” height=”200px” theme=”light” playlist=”false” playlist-continuous=”false” chapters-image=”true” episode-image-position=”right” hide-logo=”false” hide-likes=”false” hide-comments=”false” hide-sharing=”false” hide-download=”true”]