MLB is not in an expansion mode.
Every once in a while, the group that wants to bring Major League Baseball to Nashville will remind people that it is still pitching to land a franchise. The backers have a team name, the Nashville Stars, honoring a Negro League team that once played in the Tennessee capital. The Greater Nashville Black Chamber of Commerce now has added its endorsement of having a team in the city. That is all good but MLB is not moving ahead on any plans to increase its number of teams from 30 to 32 in the near future. There are at least two reasons why expansion is not coming in the near time. Major League Baseball owners need to reach a collective bargaining agreement with the players association and there are stadium issues in two markets.
The present collective bargaining agreement ends following the 2021 season. The two sides had problems in 2020 in getting a deal done that allowed the players to participate in a 60-game season which took place during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The era of good feeling between the two sides has evaporated. There is no doubt that both sides would want an expansion to take place. The owners probably would split $5 billion 30 ways which could enrich each MLB owner by $166 million by doing nothing but adding two franchises to the business. The players would get at least 50 additional jobs. MLB was hoping that the Oakland Athletics’ ownership wish for an Oakland waterfront stadium would have been resolved by now. John Fisher’s business interest is not limited to Oakland as Fisher has reached out to Las Vegas political and business leaders in an effort to get a stadium in Nevada. Tampa Bay ownership wants a new stadium as well. Meanwhile, Nashville MLB backers want to stay relevant.
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