Gresham, Oregon Warming Up In the MLB Expansion Race?

MLB is not expanding for a while.

It had been very quiet on the Major League Baseball expansion front until last week. A second stadium development plan could be emerging in the Portland, Oregon market. There are people pushing for a stadium plan in Gresham just outside of Portland. There are cities that better fit MLB’s vision for the future than the Portland market. Portland is a small market and to some has a perceived perception problem because of what seems to be constant demonstrations with sporadic outbreaks of violence. MLB has cities of interest including Montreal, Charlotte, Las Vegas, Nashville, possibly Mexico City, Mexico and Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada. None of the cities totally have what is needed to be successful, absolute government support in terms of funding a stadium or a major local cable TV deal or a large corporate base.

It is unlikely Major League Baseball will expand anytime soon for a multitude of reasons unless MLB owners need a major cash infusion. Realistically, MLB owners don’t know how much financial damage was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as of yet. But MLB might charge more than five billion dollars for two expansion teams to ease some pain. There is also the issue of the collective bargaining agreement with the players. That deal expires after the 2021 season. MLB is also dealing with getting stadium situations straightened out in Oakland and in the Tampa-St. Petersburg market. The Oakland Athletics’ ownership is pushing to get a deal with local officials to build a stadium-village on the San Francisco Bay-Oakland waterfront. While Tampa Bay Rays’ ownership is pitching a plan to split home games between Tampa and Montreal. COVID-19 threw a roadblock into those plans. COVID-19, The CBA and the stadium situations need to be settled before MLB can expand.

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