Vancouver’s Mayor Wants An MLB Franchise

The city lacks a suitable stadium.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred must have been delighted when he heard that the mayor of Vancouver, British Columbia wants to bring a Major League Baseball franchise to the Canadian city. Vancouver can be used either for leverage in terms of a team owner looking for a new facility or it can be used to increase the bids for a potential expansion franchise sometime in the future. Vancouver is the third biggest market in Canada behind Toronto, which has an MLB team and Montreal which lost its MLB franchise after the 2004 season. Vancouver is similar to Portland, Oregon which is another city looking for an MLB franchise. Portland and Vancouver have one major commonality. Neither city has a Major League Baseball state-of-the-art stadium. Vancouver has a National Hockey League franchise and a Major League Soccer team.

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart made a pitch to Manfred in the form of a letter. “We want to get our name on the list. Let’s get in the running. Let’s get on people’s radar. Somebody has to be out there pitching Vancouver all the time, and I enjoy doing it. I see it as a part of the job. I do it for other businesses. You can’t just sit there and wait for people to come to you. We’ve got an awesome city. It’s one of the most exciting cities in the world, and it’s growing. I think Vancouver would be a perfect place for Major League Baseball. It’s a city that has a relaxed vibe in the summer. I could see the folks enjoying going to the ballpark on a summer night.” No one in Vancouver has emerged as a possible owner for a team and there is no stadium. Kennedy needs to address this question to be taken seriously. Is corporate and TV money available?

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Rob Manfred