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Nashville, as MLB Expansion Market

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Meh. 

 

This was talked about years ago before we got a MLS team and Nashville was already over exposed on pro sport teams. Good luck on getting the funding for a MLS stadium, a MLB stadium and a new or improved Titans stadium all with a decade. 

Edited by Titans10
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1 hour ago, nashvylle said:

Are 12b/c/d all privately owned? 

Yes.  As are all of the other sites I mentioned except for the Nissan Stadium site.

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First off, I think baseball is boring as hell. That being said, I am also watching the Tour de France right now so my opinion shouldn't matter haha. It would be cool to have a professional baseball team here, but I don't see it happening. I think there would have to be a huge swing in professional sports. Football would have to almost go away for a city like Nashville to be able to support an MLB team. 

What is the smallest market with an MLB team? Do they have any other professional sports? I guess KC? I agree with what is stated above on AL probably being the best financially. I wonder if you could ever have a team that is shared between two cities? Do like a Nashville/Charlotte combo. You would still have 40 or so home games at each city. Sure they would have less ticket revenue and still have the stadium expense but it would also expand the fanbase so maybe more revenue from other outlets. Then after X amount of years maybe both cities would be able to support their own team. 

I never really looked into where teams were until now, but I didn't realize the south had only 3 teams. So maybe we would fill a void?

800px-Major_League_Baseball_team_locatio

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I wonder what the minimum seating requirements are for an MLB stadium.  It certainly seems possible that the second level could be wrapped around at First Tennessee Park at some point.

Also, maybe a smaller stadium isn’t such a bad thing considering how many empty seats there are in the new stadium in Miami (although a lot of that has to do with the product on the field) — where attendance this year has averaged 9,558 (http://proxy.espn.com/mlb/attendance?order=false) Attendance this season at First Tennessee Park  for Sounds games has averaged 8,861 (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Tennessee_Park).

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If baseball is going to expand in the South it's going to be Charlotte, and even that might be a decade away; Cleveland is the only three-sport market that's even close to Nashville's size, and the Tribe struggle to hit 50% capacity despite being an exciting young team that's leading its division.   Further, MLB would rather not be in baseball markets the size of Nashville (or Charlotte, or Tampa,) given that other two-sport MLB cities Nashville's size are at the back of the pack in attendance.

My White Sox are absolute garbage and would probably get beat by the Nashville AAA team yet are still pulling 18k/game; if the Sox  were to be anywhere else you'd have a Miami Marlins situation, which is part of the problem Oakland has.

Edited by Tyrone Wiggum
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Re: converting First Tennessee Park to major league (capacity of 10,000) ...the footprint is simply too small---especially behind home plate.  The smallest stadia currently in MLB are:

Tropicana Field in St. Pete: 31,042 (but that's because they have covered some of the seats.  I think it originally held close to 40k.  The new stadium being proposed for downtown Tampa would be 30,000.

Progressive Field in Cleveland: 35,051 (but they have closed-off much of the right field upper deck--it used to be about 41,000 before that). 

Marlins Park in Miami: 36,742.

Current wisdom would call for something in the 34,000 range to be built for Nashville. 

Re: Attendance challenges could be somewhat eased by the fact that Nashville has become such a tourist destination.  Having 81 major league games in the warmer months offers even further entertainment options for those coming to town (something that, I'm sure, is not lost on MLB research). I could easily see 5,000 or more per night coming from outside our market, and, for series vs. certain teams, weekends, and holidays, it could be as high as 10,000 "outsiders" enjoying fun at the ol' ball yard. 

By current metrics. in order to generate enough for a competitive payroll, an MLB franchise needs to be drawing at least 28,000 per game.

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I, too, doubt that Nashville will get a team.  However, I don't necessarily think Nashville couldn't support the team.  Rather, I believe other cities could support a team in a stronger manner than Nashville could.  There's simply more competition in Nashville than in a place like Portland, Austin, or Raleigh.  I have no doubt that Nashville could support an average attendance of 18-22,000 per game, but I also suspect those other places could probably support it at a higher level.  

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Those of you who've been around a while, do you remember why Nashville didn't get a MLB expansion team back in the 90s?  I was living out west when the MLB granted expansion teams to Denver and Miami, but if I remember correctly Nashville was in the hunt for one of those teams.  When Nashville was passed over, did the MLB say why?  I do remember a lot of baseball purists didn't want Denver to get a team because its high altitude would give them an unfair advantage (thinner air = more home runs, and visiting teams wouldn't have time to acclimate to breathing the thinner air).  And popular opinion was that Florida was a great place for minor league ball and spring training camps but would not be good for MLB (which seems to be true given the lousy attendance figures for the Rays and Marlins).

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7 minutes ago, jmtunafish said:

Those of you who've been around a while, do you remember why Nashville didn't get a MLB expansion team back in the 90s?  I was living out west when the MLB granted expansion teams to Denver and Miami, but if I remember correctly Nashville was in the hunt for one of those teams.  When Nashville was passed over, did the MLB say why?  I do remember a lot of baseball purists didn't want Denver to get a team because its high altitude would give them an unfair advantage (thinner air = more home runs, and visiting teams wouldn't have time to acclimate to breathing the thinner air).  And popular opinion was that Florida was a great place for minor league ball and spring training camps but would not be good for MLB (which seems to be true given the lousy attendance figures for the Rays and Marlins).

I think Purcell said no at some point when the Expos were looking at leaving, which wasn't in the early 90s you are referring to. 

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17 minutes ago, jmtunafish said:

Those of you who've been around a while, do you remember why Nashville didn't get a MLB expansion team back in the 90s?  I was living out west when the MLB granted expansion teams to Denver and Miami, but if I remember correctly Nashville was in the hunt for one of those teams.  When Nashville was passed over, did the MLB say why?  I do remember a lot of baseball purists didn't want Denver to get a team because its high altitude would give them an unfair advantage (thinner air = more home runs, and visiting teams wouldn't have time to acclimate to breathing the thinner air).  And popular opinion was that Florida was a great place for minor league ball and spring training camps but would not be good for MLB (which seems to be true given the lousy attendance figures for the Rays and Marlins).

If you are referring to the Larry Schmittou  (owner of the Sounds at hat time) proposal in the 90's, it was a joke, to put it mildly. He proposed a 30,000+/- seat stadium to cost $30 million on a site at the I 65/I 24 split north of town. As I recall, the expansion committee was apparently shocked that someone thought they could build a MLB stadium at that price. And the video prepared for the presentation was extremely cheesy and hillbilly, from what I saw of it, and embarrassing to the city. From the TENNESSEAN...

And Denver and Miami were superior applicants. Denver has been extraordinarily successful as a franchise, even though they have yet to win a championship (altitude kills their pitchers). I've been to a game there and loved the experience. I saw Prince Fielder hit a triple in that enormous outfield. That was crazy. 

 

More from the 2015 Tennessean article...

Quote

And in the future, Nashville could handle a big-league baseball squad, too, said Predators CEO Jeff Cogen. A decade ago, Cogen worked as president of MLB's Texas Rangers. In Nashville, Cogen and COO Sean Henry, have revitalized the Predators. Cogen said the biggest question is how to pay for a ballpark that would cost around $600 million.

"The next thing you'd have to turn your attention to is could the market sustain it," Cogen said. "Are there enough seat-buying people, are there enough suite-buying people and are there enough corporate-buying people? My answer will surprise you, I think there are.

 

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1 minute ago, PHofKS said:

If you are referring to the Larry Schmittou  (owner of the Sounds at hat time) proposal in the 90's, it was a joke, to put it mildly. He proposed a 30,000+/- seat stadium to cost $30 million on a site at the I 65/I 24 split north of town. As I recall, the expansion committee was apparently shocked that someone thought they could build a MLB stadium at that price. And the video prepared for the presentation was extremely cheesy and hillbilly, from what I saw of it, and embarrassing to the city. From the TENNESSEAN...

And Denver and Miami were superior applicants. Denver has been extraordinarily successful as a franchise, even though they have yet to win a championship (altitude kills their pitchers). I've been to a game there and loved the experience. I saw Prince Fielder hit a triple in that enormous outfield. That was crazy. 

Ah, that explains it then.  Yes, it was Larry Schmittou.  I hear he was quite a character.  I do have a soft spot for the Rockies.  While I was on the faculty at U.T., Todd Helton one year paid the dental insurance premiums for all U.T. faculty as a way of thanking the university.  Because of the Todd Helton connection, there's still a lot of Rockies fans in Knoxville.

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I agree with a lot of the above-mentioned reasons Nashville couldn't and/or shouldn't try to land an MLB team today, but the league hasn't even said yet when or even if they intend to expand -- that makes me think that the soonest MLB would  be in position to even look for proposals would probably be 5 years out. A lot can happen between now and then that could negatively or positively change Nashville's chances.

For now, I'm going to relish the fact that we have NFL, NHL, solid AAA baseball and (fingers crossed) Major League Soccer. Anything else is gravy.

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William and I have been talking about these markets and there is no city with under 2.5 million in population that has four of the big five, NFL,NHL, NBA, MLB, and MLS . We don't think Nashville will be the first.

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Ok...let me ask this:  If somehow the MLS expansion falls through here (because of the Fairgrounds fiasco)...would that suddenly change our minds on the viability of MLB here?

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