It’s been a long time since Major League Baseball expanded into new markets. MLB expanded to four new cities in the 1990s (two in 1993 and two in 1998), but a quarter-century has passed since the latter’s expansion, and MLB remains at 30 teams.
But times are changing. Expansion over the next decade is not a question of “if”, but of “when.” He has two main drivers for this, but both are two sides of the same coin, and Commissioner Rob Manfred discussed it this past July.
Despite various problems, baseball has grown from $8 billion when Manfred became commissioner to a more than $10 billion annual sport, league sources say. Owners also liked Manfred’s reorganization of the minor leagues in 2020, with the franchise valuation he more than quadrupled over the past decade. Not surprisingly, billionaires want to get in and expansion is on the way. “We want to be 32 teams,” says Manfred.
When baseball could expand, why baseball hasn’t expanded yet, whether baseball needs to expand, what the modern expansion draft would look like, which cities are candidates There are many great articles about what it will be like. Such.
This is the last question I want to discuss, but in a slightly different way than it’s usually discussed: we’re bringing metrics into this, baby. Realistically, the league would allow him to expand to one of his 10 cities and do well.but what number one City By certain indicators?
Let’s dig in a bit. The metrics we use are Nielsen-designated market area size, metropolitan area population, and distance from competing MLB franchises. Let’s take a look at the top two teams on these metrics.
Nielsen Media Research is the premier media research and audience measurement company, best known for its Nielsen ratings. Nielsen divides the United States into his DMAs (Designated Market Areas). This ultimately measures the amount of TV viewing power in the area. To quote Nielsen himself:
A DMA (designated market area) region is a geographic area within the United States where local TV viewing is measured by Nielsen. DMA data is essential for marketers, researchers, or organizations looking to use standardized geographic regions in their business.
A DMA region is a group of countries and postal codes that form an exclusive geographic area where domestic market television stations account for the majority of total viewing time. There are 210 of his DMA regions, covering the entire continental United States, Hawaii, and parts of Alaska.
The size of the DMA is House Located in a loose geographical area, it may differ from the metropolitan population of the city. A list of the 2022 Nielsen DMA Rankings can be found here. Winner:
- DMA Rank: 17th
- DMA size: 1.775 million households
In theory, Orlando is a slam dunk as an expansion candidate. It is the only city on this list to rank in the top 25 for both DMA size and metropolitan population. Characterized by a temperate climate, he is one of the nation’s largest tourist destinations thanks to Disney and Universal parks. Orlando is also home to his NBA team Magic. Florida is also one of the top 10 fastest growing states in the US.
But getting to the heart of it, Orlando doesn’t quite fit the bill. Downtown Orlando is less than 100 miles from the home of the Tampa Bay Rays. This is a problem, as the Lakeland/Winter Haven/Haines area is already closely aligned with Rays. Plus, despite having a nice new stadium and an even bigger metro in Miami, his Marlins have long struggled to draw crowds.
- DMA Rank: 20th
- DMA size: 1.52 million households
Again, Sacramento makes a lot of sense with the DMA and population numbers. Sacramento ranks 20th in his DMA size and 26th in city population size, with more available population and viewership than his six teams in MLB right now. Already supporting the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.
Unfortunately for the Sacrementons (Sacramentoans?), Sacramento has some of the same problems as Orlando. It’s within a hundred miles (100 miles) of not one, but two current MLB teams, both established teams with a lot of history.and the MLB sixth If you have other options, what about the team in California? It’s like stretching.
No one puts an MLB team in the subway that can’t support 81 games a year. Metro size is a big issue. We use the metropolitan area (MSA) estimated by the US Census Bureau and conveniently displayed on Wikipedia.
- MSA Rank: 22nd
- MSA size: 2.7 million 1000
The Charlotte subway is about the same size as the St. Louis subway. Charlotte itself is he one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Interestingly, Charlotte is kind of a bigger mirror version of him in Kansas City. Both have his NFL and MLS teams, both big enough to have Cedar his fair amusement park (Charlotte is better and should have an NBA team to boot).
To be honest, Charlotte ticks all the boxes. With the Nielsen DMA ranked 21st, its TV audience is as broad as the metropolitan population. After all, I would say he has three of the Big 4 sports teams in metropolitan areas with fewer TV viewers than Charlotte. But Milwaukee is on track and until Rams ownership sees signs of a dollar in LA, St. Louis is on track and there is no doubt in the world that KC can support an NBA or NHL team.
- MSA Rank: 23rd
- MSA Size: 2,692,000
Just behind Charlotte, Orlando is slotted in the population realm. Orlando’s strengths and weaknesses from the previous section remain.
Land doesn’t vote and doesn’t go to baseball games, but it acts as a barrier to fandom. But we’re being reasonable here and limiting our choices to the top 50 cities. both Nielsen DMA size and metropolitan population. The furthest from the current MLB franchise are:
- 230 miles from nearest franchise
- DMA Rank: 40th
- Metro Rank: 29th
Las Vegas is having a moment in the world of sports. In the last few years, we’ve acquired a National Hockey League team and the Raiders, and I can’t believe they’ve left California. Given his forecast as one of the top 30 largest metros and his five fastest growing cities in the United States over the next 40 years, there are plenty of reasons to think he could support a baseball team.
But while Las Vegas’ population size is certainly enough to support an audience, television deals are a major source of income for MLB franchises. Unfortunately for Las Vegas, nobody lives outside of the subway, which puts it behind some of its competitors in the area. The number of housing units is 840,000, and the DMA ranking is 40th.
salt lake city
- 371 miles from nearest franchise
- DMA Rank: 29th
- Metro Rank: 46th
Salt Lake City’s MLB case looks a lot like Denver’s in the 1990s. Hundreds of miles away from the next closest franchise. We also already support another Big Four sports team.
However, Salt Lake City has the opposite problem to Las Vegas. DMA is covered, but it is the population that is not competitive. Salt Lake City is barely among the top 50 metropolitan populations. So why are there the top 30 DMAs? The answer is simple. Her DMA in Salt Lake City is basically all of Utah and then several states, which is interesting to look at on a map. Can a city the size of Salt Lake City support the participation of NBA and MLB franchises? That is the question.
surprise! This is the fourth part of the bonus. Yes, even with some drawbacks, the aforementioned cities are good choices. They are process wildcards.
The New York City subway is huge. It has 7.73 million houses and a population of about 20 million. There are many people there.
So why New Jersey? Why does the area need a third team? Consider: Orlando, with 1.775 million homes, is the largest DMA-sized metro without a sports team. The New York City subway he divided into three, one for each MLB team supported by the hypothesis, has 2.58 million units.
Yes, the Yankees and Mets aren’t happy about having a third team in their backyard. But having a team in New Jersey can make enough of a difference from a branding standpoint. Hell, he already has three NHL teams in the NYC area.
Dark Horse: Montreal is in Canada, so it doesn’t appear on Nielsen’s DMA list or on the US metropolitan population. But Montreal is very big, Montreal’s urban population is 1.76 million, and the northern urban population is he 4.2 million. These numbers are lower than any city (non-NYC department) listed.
Moreover, the fact that the Montreal Expos existed is proof that MLB could be there again. What are the drawbacks? It’s in Canada, which adds logistical issues at various points.