MLB, A’s Ownership Have Limited Options

The San Francisco Bay Area is still the best place for the team in the business world.

Major League Baseball has told the Oakland Athletics ownership group to look for another city that is willing to give them lots of cash in exchange for building a suitable park for Athletics baseball. Oakland, despite sharing a market with San Francisco seems better than other available markets for two reasons. There is television money available and Oakland is not far from the Silicon Valley’s wealth. Every other city that might be available to house a Major League Baseball team has flaws in the three-legged stool concept of major league sports’ formula for financial success. Every owner needs government support and for the moment until the model changes a big-time cable TV deal and corporate dollars. There are not many markets that can provide that for baseball.

Las Vegas may be oversaturated with the National Hockey League’s Golden Knights and the National Football League’s Raiders when it comes to available corporate dollars for things like luxury boxes and club seats. MLB has 81 dates to fill. The NHL and NFL have about 60 in Las Vegas including pre-season contests and playoffs. Las Vegas is a small market with limited TV dollars. Portland, Oregon is a small market with limited TV and corporate money. Nashville had problems with government support in getting a Major League Soccer stadium built. Nashville is a small market with limited TV dollars and is part of the Atlanta Braves TV territory and that could be a problem. MLB is not sold on Montreal as a full-time Major League city although if someone built a stadium there, MLB would return in a second. Montreal would have TV money but corporate loonies could be a problem. Charlotte is in the same boat as Nashville. San Jose, the best option, is off limits as it is in San Francisco Giants territory. MLB is running out of options.

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MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred