New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans has had trouble supporting two pro-teams, but that doesn’t mean MLB wouldn’t succeed in the Big Easy. There are a couple of things that point to New Orleans being a great city for a new professional baseball team.
First, look at the way those in the Big Easy react to the Saints. Now, imagine what they’d do with another successful pro team. New Orleans also has the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, which is suitable until a stadium is built specifically for their new team. Until then, New Orleans always has their Triple-A team, the Baby Cakes.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Montreal hasn’t had a Major League Baseball team since 2005. This was following a boycott of the Expos, but it was all justified considering the management couldn’t even land a new stadium. Still, don’t count Montreal out. It would be a fantastic city for a new baseball team.
Despite Montreal’s feelings toward the Expos, the city still loves baseball. In fact, the Expos actually had more attendance ratios than the Marlins and the Rays (even fans did start skipping games starting in ’94). Give Montreal a team with good management, and we know that fans will start showing up.
Did you know that Indianapolis is the country’s 12th largest city? So, that begs to ask why it doesn’t have an MLB team. The city could easily support a team, especially since it clearly supports the Colts so well that they got a new stadium.
Then, there’s the fact that Indianapolis has a Triple-A team (the Indians) that they support pretty strongly. It honestly wouldn’t be that big of a jump to give Indy a major league team.
Portland has a huge population, and baseball is pretty popular up there. Right now, they can root for the Mariners, but if Portlanders wanted to go to a game, it would be a bit of a drive. That means that adding a major league team in Portland would just make sense. The attendance rate would be phenomenal!
Plus, rumor has it that Portland has even been looking for its own franchise for a while now. The city loves sports, even selling out for their Major League Soccer team, the Portland Timbers. A baseball team isn’t in the works, but we’re guessing they’ll get one pretty soon as long as they keep looking. Until then, the Portland Beavers, their Triple-A team, will have to keep them company.
Let’s talk about Orlando. This city was tested a decade or so back when the Tampa Bay Rays played some scattered home games in 2007 and 2008, but apparently, it wasn’t enough to relocate the team to the city. Then again, it is the Rays. That all changed pretty recently when retired Orlando Magic exec Pat Williams said Orlando would be the natural future home for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Gotta say, we agree. Orlando is worth it, even if it does have the reputation of being a tourist city. This city is worth being in the running for a team. Williams is confident Orlando can lure the Rays, but we’ll just have to hold our breath until 2028, when the Pt. Petersburg agreement expires.
Cooperstown, New York
Baseball has always been a tradition in New York, especially in Cooperstown. The town is home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and is actually home to where the sport was invented!
The only thing that plays against Cooperstown is that it’s tiny. The town doesn’t even have 2,000 people. However, the entire county has 60,000, and it isn’t that far of a drive for most. What better way to honor baseball history than to start a team where baseball began?
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte doesn’t have a Major League Baseball team despite being one of the largest cities in the United States. How crazy is that? To add to that, the Triple-A Knights do amazing, so we honestly don’t know what’s going on.
Charlotte is even ranked first in attendance for major league attendance with nearly 9,000 people per game. MLB should see dollar signs in their eyes, if anything. Because it’s rapidly growing and basically already a baseball hub, we think the city should get a team.
Brooklyn, New York
Brooklyn has a groundbreaking history in baseball, so we’re lost on the fact that they don’t have an MLB team. The Brooklyn Dodgers, Brooklyn’s historic team, was the first team to recruit an African-American, Jackie Robinson, to their team. Unfortunately, they moved to California and eventually disbanded in 1957.
Given that the city is so large (2.5 million residents) and has an obvious love for baseball, it’s time that Brooklyn gets another team. Geographically, Brooklyn also makes sense because the stadium is near subway lines, making it easily accessible to fans all over the state.
Like some of the other cities on this list, Nashville has a growing population. On top of that, the current population loves sports – just take a look at the NHL’s Nashville Predators and the NFL’s Tennessee Titans. Both have pretty decent attendance, so an MLB team would certainly do well.
That doesn’t even take into account the fact that Nashville has supported a Triple-A franchise, the Sounds, over the years. The Sounds finished 2018 as being the fourth-best-attended minor league team. Nashville is surely next on the list for a Major League Baseball team.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Honestly, MLB made a huge mistake by not settling a team in Las Vegas. Las Vegas has a huge baseball fanbase, and one of baseball’s biggest stars (Kris Bryant) comes from the city. Then, there’s the fact that the population of Las Vegas is larger than other cities that do have a team, like Atlanta, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh.
Our final pitch for Las Vegas is that there’s ample space to build a new stadium. Few places have as much space as this Nevada city. We just suggest building it big because there will be tons of butts in those seats.
Buffalo, New York
Maybe not Brooklyn, but what about Buffalo? Buffalo is a proud sports town that’s already home to the NHL’s Sabres and the NFL’s Bills. Even though Sabres saw a slight attendance drop, the Bills have consistently kept their stadium filled during home games.
Buffalo is also home to the Triple-A team the Bisons, which rank seventh in attendance in the minor leagues in 2018. All this means that Buffalo would be one of the best places to put a new MLB team.
Why does the home of the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory not have an MLB team? Louisville is already a destination for baseball fans all over the nation for this very reason, so it makes perfect sense to throw in an MLB team.
The city also has a Triple-A team named the Bats. As you can imagine, the team has a very avid fanbase that supports them through thick and thin. Louisville isn’t too far from Cincinnati, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t large enough to support it’s won MLB team.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Here’s the interesting thing about Canada – the country loves baseball. Vancouver, in particular, loves the sport, and the city has over three million people. Currently, fans flock to the Blue Jays, but they’re based out of Toronto, and they’d be easily swayed if they had their own MLB team.
Vancouver is also spacious. While most of the city scrunched in one small area, there’s still room for a downtown stadium, which can be doubled as an NHL arena during the off-season. Vancouver also has a Class-A team that attracted more than 6,000 fans per game last year.
California has five MLB teams, which is a lot, but it’s a huge state. There’s also plenty of room for more considering how much of a baseball paradise California is. Sacramento has a lot going on for it. First, it has a ton of people. There are over two million people in the metro region alone.
Sacramento is also home to the Triple-A team, the River Cats. The River Cats regularly attract audiences, including in 2015, when it broke the records to have more than 607,000 guests that year. Each game sees roughly 9,300 fans. So, when is Sacramento getting a team?
Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City metro has more than one million people and is close to Summit County, which is one of the highest-income counties in the United States. We bring this up to entice the MLB to move a team (or start a team) in the city.
There isn’t one close by (without an extensive drive), meaning there’s a huge hole that can be filled. Utah also has a big baseball fanbase. The Triple-A team Bees call Salt Lake home, and games average around 7,000 fans. Other than the NBA’s Jazz and the MLS club, there’s not much there in terms of major league sports.
San Jose, California
Two decades ago, we wouldn’t say San Jose had a running, but lately, the city has been getting super into athletics. The only problem was that they were stopped by the San Fran Giants, who claimed territorial rights over the region.
Even though we doubt this will be resolved, we have to say that San Jose would be a great home to an MLB team. There’s already a major league sports fanbase, and they’re already home to the NHL’s Sharks. The Sharks averaged 100% attendance rates since 2009!
San Antonio, Texas
Texas is another huge state, so two teams aren’t enough. San Antonio is one of the seventh most populated cities in America, even bigger than Dallas and San Francisco. As if that weren’t enough, the city is growing rapidly, meaning it’s on track to break into the top five!
How the MLB hasn’t already settled a team there, we’ll have no idea. It’s got a huge metro region, it’s far enough from other teams so they won’t directly compete, and it has tons of space for a stadium. San Antonio is also home to the Missions, who have an avid fan base.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
New Mexico isn’t represented in major league sports, so MLB should be the first to settle down in the state. Albuquerque, especially, would be a fantastic starting point since the Isotopes, a Triple-A team, draws about 8,000 fans per game.
In the metro area alone, Albuquerque has more than one million people. If those people wanted to see the closest MLB game, they’d have to drive or fly over 400 miles to Phoenix or Denver. That’s a little too far, so an Albuquerque team wouldn’t have much competition.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma doesn’t have a professional MLB team, and it’s about time that changes. Oklahoma City has a massive 1.5 million people, and it’s growing larger every year thanks to a robust corporate community. Many of those people also adore baseball!
The Oklahoma City Dodgers, a Triple-A team, have been around since 1962, and they consistently see huge crowds. In, in 2017, the city broke records by seeing the third-largest crowd in ballpark history. There were over 13,000 people, and it was standing room only!
Virginia’s capital may not be the first place in people’s minds, but those that live there have few options for sports. They generally support D.C., but they could support their own team! They’re within striking distance of Hampton Roads region, which has become a pro baseball factory.
Richmond has obvious fans, but that’s a given considering there are more than 1.3 million people that live in the capital alone. If you include nearby major cities, you’re looking at a massive population of three million – and that’s just within 90 miles!
Memphis is already a great city for tourism, but it could become the next St. Louis. If the MLB passed on Nashville, they ought to consider Memphis. The only major league team in the area is the Grizzlies, and the closest team to the city is the St. Louis Cardinals – almost 300 miles away.
Memphis has been home to the Redbirds, a Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate, since 1998. The Redbirds won the Triple-A championship in 2018 and saw an average of 5,000 fans per game. Last year, they saw an 8% rise in attendance, so fans are chomping at the bits for an MLB team.
We hear you about Florida baseball, but Jacksonville is different. First off, Jacksonville has a higher median household income than Tampa Bay or Miami. Jacksonville also doesn’t have nearly the same beach activity to compete with compared to the two previously mentioned places.
Jacksonville is growing each year, with a huge corporate banking scene. Since the Marlins and the Rays have become the laughing stock of major league sports, we suggest giving Jacksonville a shot. They’re currently home to the Jumbo Shrimp, a MiLB team, and they see attendance rates higher than Marlins!
Omaha is almost too easy. Nebraska isn’t represented in major league sports, and the entire area is basically an empty void for sports. That’s pretty odd considering half a million people call Omaha home, and it’s over 200 miles to the nearest game. That should make it plenty attractive for any MLB team.
Omaha already hosts the College World Series every spring, so there’s clearly a market. Leagues have been looking to “grow the game,” and we can’t see a better way than setting their sights on Omaha.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Little Rock has a huge fanbase in football, but the state isn’t home to a single major league sports team. The closest the state has is The Travelers, a Double-A team of the Seattle Mariners. Each year, the Travelers attract new fans.
A recently-built stadium sees tons of fans every year, and in 2018, the Travs saw around 4,500 people per game. Arkansans absolutely adore sports, and they would jump at the chance to have an MLB team.
We’ve already talked about how there’s not much going on in or near Montana. There aren’t any major league sports teams located in the state, but that just means it has plenty of room to grow. We’re going to suggest Billings because it’s already home to the Billings Mustangs.
The Mustangs are an affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, and they saw nearly 100,000 fans for the year. While it isn’t at the top of our list, an MLB team could breathe a little life into the state.
Fans want to see an MLB team return to Hartford! It used to be home to the Hartford Dark Blues back in the late 1800s. Yes, that was a long time ago, but the Dark Blues were historic. The team produced the guy that invented the curveball and the pioneer of the bunt!
Right now, Hartford is home to the Yard Goats, a MiLB team and a Double-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. The team averaged over 6,000 per game and sold out 51 out of 67 games. Needless to say, Hartford residents love their baseball.
Mexico absolutely loves baseball. It’s home to the Mexican League, but that’s one grade below the MLB. If Mexico were to get their first MLB team, Monterrey would be a great choice. They’ve already been tested before, so there’s obvious hope for the city.
There are over a million people within the city limits, and five million if you extend to the metro area. That means it ranks in the top 25 largest cities in North America. We also want to mention Monterrey was home to six MLB games in 2019.
MLB has gone to Havana before. We know this. No one can forget the 1999 exhibition games, but tensions between the U.S. and Cuba have kept MLB away from the country. Regardless, we can’t help but look at the possible market.
There are more than two million people that live within Havana’s city limits, and most of those people love baseball more than any other sport. Tensions have eased, so we could see an MLB team calling Havana home.
Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City has an obvious baseball fanbase – the city is headquarters to the Mexican Baseball League! For that reason, we’d say that Mexico City is a better location for an MLB team than Monterrey. Let’s look at the numbers to prove why.
Mexico City has nearly nine million people in city limits and 20 million in the metro area. That’s more people than New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, all of which have two MLB teams.
This one won’t happen any time soon, mostly because settling in London seems like a logistical nightmare. Travel times would be ridiculous, but we’d be remiss not to add it. London is one of the world’s premier cities and could absolutely support an MLB team.
We have two reasons to support this. First, the MLB’s “experiment” that turned a single game into a regular event in London. Now, multiple teams play there every year. There’s also the London Series where the Yankees and Red Sox sold out. Are you thinking what we’re thinking?