Of the four major leagues in American sports, MLB has gone the longest since adding new expansion teams. However, that may change in the near future.
In an interview with ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr., Rob Manfred said expansion is on his mind for possible changes during his tenure.
“I would love to get to 32 teams,” he said.
According to Van Natta, MLB’s annual revenue has increased from $8 billion to $10 billion in Manfred’s time as commissioner since 2015, while franchise valuations have more than quadrupled over the last decad. Therefore, billionaires may be interested in getting involved as expansion owners in the league.
The last two MLB expansion teams were the then-Devil Rays and the Diamondbacks, who were both created in the 1998 season. The NFL most recently added the Texans in 2002, the NBA had the then-Bobcats in 2004, and the NHL brought in the Kraken last year. Additionally, no MLB team has even relocated since the Expos became the Nationals in 2005, while every other league has moved teams since.
If MLB does decide to expand, there are a few cities that may make sense. Las Vegas is a potential landing spot, but that has been a suggestion if the Athletics decide to move. MLB could bring baseball back to Montreal, a city that has also been connected with the Rays in a two-city plan for the franchise. Charlotte, Nashville and Portland have also been floated as possibilities.
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