Top candidate cities for MLB expansion by three different metrics

It has been a very long time since Main League Baseball expanded into a brand new market. MLB expanded to 4 new cities within the Nineteen Nineties—two in 1993 and two in 1998—however a quarter-century has handed for the reason that final enlargement and MLB stays at 30 groups.

However instances are altering. Enlargement into the following decade shouldn’t be a query of “if” however a query of “when”. There are two fundamental driving forces for this, though they’re each side of the identical coin, and Commissioner Rob Manfred mentioned it final July.

Regardless of its array of issues, league sources say baseball has grown right into a sport value greater than $10 billion yearly, up from $8 billion when Manfred grew to become commissioner. The house owners additionally preferred Manfred’s realignment of the minor leagues in 2020, and up to now decade, franchise rankings have greater than quadrupled. Not surprisingly, billionaires would love it, and enlargement is coming. “I might prefer to get to 32 groups,” Manfred informed me.

There was a whole lot of nice writing about when baseball would possibly increase and why baseball hasn’t expanded but and whether or not or not baseball ought to increase and what an enlargement draft would appear like within the fashionable period and what cities are the candidates, nicely, and so forth.

That is the final query I wish to focus on, however in a barely totally different method than I often see it mentioned: We’re bringing the scales to this, child. Realistically, the league might increase to one in all 10 cities and it might work. However what are the recordsdata higher cities By particular requirements?

So, let’s take a stab at that. The metrics we use are the dimensions of the Nielsen-defined market space, the inhabitants of the central district, and the gap from a competing MLB franchise. We’ll check out the highest two groups by these metrics.

Nielsen DMA

Nielsen Media Analysis is a outstanding media analysis and viewers measurement firm, greatest identified for its Nielsen rankings. Nielsen divides the US into DMA areas, or particular market areas, which finally measures how a lot TV viewership is powerful for a area. To cite Nielsen herself:

DMAs (Specified Market Space) are the geographic areas in the US during which home tv viewership is measured by Nielsen. DMA information is important for any marketer, researcher, or group searching for to make use of unified geographic areas of their enterprise.

A DMA is a group of counties and zip codes that make up an unique geographic space the place the whole hours watched are dominated by tv stations within the native market. There are 210 DMAs overlaying the whole American continent, Hawaii, and components of Alaska.

DMAs are measured in quantity by Position It’s in a free geographic space and thus can differ from town’s metro inhabitants. You will discover a file Listing of 2022 Nielsen DMA Rankings is right here. Winners:


  • DMA Rank: 17
  • Dammam city space: 1.775 million houses

In idea, Orlando is without doubt one of the candidates for enlargement. It’s the solely metropolis on this listing that ranks twenty fifth in each DMA measurement and metro inhabitants. It has heat climate and is without doubt one of the greatest vacationer locations within the nation due to its Disney and Common parks. Orlando can also be residence to the NBA staff, The Magic. Florida can also be one of many ten quickest rising US states.

However if you get into the nitty gritty, Orlando does not fairly match the invoice. Downtown Orlando is lower than 100 miles from the house of the Tampa Bay Rays. This can be a downside, because the Lakeland/Winter Haven/Haines areas are prone to be intently associated to the rays already. Plus, even with a pleasant new stadium and larger metro, the Miami Marlins struggled to draw crowds for therefore lengthy.


  • DMA Rank: 20
  • Space measurement: 1.502 million houses

Once more, with DMA and inhabitants figures, Sacramento would make a whole lot of sense. Sacramento ranks twentieth in DMA measurement and twenty sixth in metro inhabitants measurement, and has a bigger inhabitants and viewership than half a dozen present MLB groups. He truly helps the Sacramento Kings within the NBA.

Sadly for Sacrementons (Sacramentoans?), Sacramento has a number of the similar issues as Orlando. It’s lower than a 100 mile drive from the present MLB staff and never two, each of that are well-established groups with a whole lot of historical past. MLB will put a file VI Crew in California when there are different options? It seems like a stretch.

metro measurement

You must put asses within the benches, and no one places an MLB staff in a metro that may’t help 81 video games a yr. Metro measurement is a giant deal. We use a Metropolitan Statistical Space (MSA) on the discretion of the US Census Bureau It may be simply considered on Wikipedia.


  • MSA score: twenty second
  • MSA measurement: 2.701 million

The Charlotte metro is unobtrusively giant, concerning the measurement of the St. Louis metro. Charlotte herself is one in all them The quickest rising cities within the nation. Apparently, Charlotte is form of a duplicate of Kansas Metropolis: each have NFL groups and MLS groups, they usually’re each sufficiently big to personal the Cedar Honest theme park (Charlotte is even higher, they usually have an NBA staff as well).

Charlotte ticks all of the containers, to be sincere. With a twenty first Nielsen DMA score, its tv viewers is as broad as metro residents. Should you’re on the lookout for a nitpick, you can say that just one metro space has much less TV viewership than Charlotte has three of the Large 4 sports activities groups. However Milwaukee is doing nicely, St. Louis is doing nicely till Rams possession has seen L.A. greenback indicators, and there’s no doubt on this planet that KC can help an NBA or NHL staff.


  • MSA rank: twenty third
  • MSA quantity: 2.692 million

Instantly behind Charlotte Slots Orlando’s World Inhabitants. Orlando’s professionals and cons stay from the earlier part.

By geography

The Earth doesn’t vote nor go to look at baseball video games, however acts as a barrier to the fanbase. Now, it might be simple to decide on Plentywood, Montana, Grass Creek, Wyoming, or one other small city in the course of nowhere. However we’re being rational right here and limiting selections to cities that fall into the highest 50 Each Nielsen DMA measurement and metro inhabitants. The furthest away from the present MLB franchises are:

Las vigas

  • 230 miles from the closest concession
  • DMA Rank: 40
  • Metro rank: 29

Las Vegas is having a second on this planet of sports activities. Previously few years, the Nationwide Hockey League and the Raiders, who I refuse to imagine have left California, have picked up on me. With prime 30 metro measurement and drop like One of many 5 quickest rising US cities Over the following 40 years, there may be loads of motive to imagine he might help a baseball staff.

However whereas the dimensions of Las Vegas’ inhabitants is definitely sufficient to help attendance, TV offers are an enormous supply of earnings for MLB franchises. Sadly for Las Vegas, it lags behind a couple of opponents on this space as a result of, nicely, no one lives exterior of the metro. It’s in a desert, in spite of everything. With 840,000 houses, its DMA score is #40.

Salt Lake Metropolis

  • 371 miles from the closest concession
  • DMA Rank: 29
  • Metro rank: 46

The MLB scenario in Salt Lake Metropolis seems rather a lot like Denver within the Nineteen Nineties: it is lots of of miles away from the following closest franchise. It additionally already helps one other Large 4 sports activities staff.

Nevertheless, Salt Lake Metropolis has the other downside that Las Vegas does: DMA’s coated, however residents aren’t aggressive. Salt Lake Metropolis barely cracks the highest 50 in metro inhabitants. So why does it have the highest 30 DMA? This one’s simple: The Salt Lake Metropolis DMA location is principally the whole state of Utah after which some, Which is humorous to take a look at on a map. Can a metropolis the dimensions of Salt Lake Metropolis help an NBA and MLB franchise in attendance? that is the query.

Wild playing cards

Shock! It’s an extra fourth class. Sure, the above cities are good selections, even when a few of them have some downsides. However there are some cities that may not have appeared within the earlier metrics for varied causes. They’re the wild playing cards of the method.

New Jersey

The New York Metropolis metro is ridiculously large. It has 7.73 million houses and a inhabitants of almost 20 million. There are numerous individuals there.

So, why New Jersey? Why a 3rd staff within the area? Think about: With 1.775 million houses, Orlando is the most important DMA-sized metro with no sports activities staff. The New York Metropolis metro cut up into three — one for every supported MLB staff in our assumption — is 2.58 million houses.

Sure, the Yankees and Mets would not be blissful to have a 3rd staff of their yard. However in case you put a staff in New Jersey, you’ll be able to create a staff that’s distinctive sufficient from a branding perspective. Plus, the residents enable it. Heck, the New York space truly has 3 NHL groups.


Darkish horse: Montreal doesn’t seem within the listing of Nielsen DMA or metro US residents as a result of it’s in Canada. Montreal could be very large, nevertheless, with a metropolitan Montreal inhabitants of 1.76 million and a metro inhabitants north of 4.2 million. These numbers dwarf any of the cities listed (aside from the New York Metropolis part).

Plus, the truth that the Montreal Expos even existed in any respect is proof that MLB can exist there once more. What is the draw back? It is in Canada, which ends up in further logistical issues in a lot of methods.


The place would you prefer to see an MLB enlargement staff?

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