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Nashville, as MLB Expansion Market

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John Loar is convinced Nashville can support MLB and has a plan on building a stadium on the East Bank without using public funds.  It's hard to read this article and not agree with him.

https://www.tennessean.com/story/sports/2019/01/20/mlb-nashville-major-league-expansion-dave-stewart-tony-la-russa-nhl-nfl/2579858002/

Edited by jmtunafish
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I agree that sharing parking with the Titans is a good idea...but other than the PSC site, is there somewhere else on the east bank he could build this?  He almost talks like there's readily available land already there and ready to go.

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The big problem is if we get a MLB team is who is going to pay for the stadium. I think the residents of Davidson County are a little gun shy of big ticket items right now and we still don't have mass transit and that will at some point have to be addressed.

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Granted these discussion need to occur early on, but the Sounds and the Rangers just signed a 4-year deal so it would take a little while for everything to pan out. The city cannot support Minor and Major league baseball

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9 minutes ago, smeagolsfree said:

The big problem is if we get a MLB team is who is going to pay for the stadium. I think the residents of Davidson County are a little gun shy of big ticket items right now and we still don't have mass transit and that will at some point have to be addressed.

Great point.  Personally, I think a publicly-funded MLB stadium would be another waste of tax money.  However, I have learned something over the years:  What matters in this town is not what the tax payer thinks, it's what the vested-interest crowd of elite decision-makers thinks.  In contrast to the "gun shy" attitude of the tax payer, the hotel, entertainment, and construction industries are fully in favor of an MLB stadium, regardless of cost!

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In contrast to the "gun shy" attitude of the tax payer, the hotel, entertainment, and construction industries are fully in favor of an MLB stadium, regardless of cost!

 

Of coarse they are because they make more money and any taxes they are charged are passed along to their customers.

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I think that Nashville could potentially be a city that punches well above its weight in support of pro teams, but I am apprehensive about this too. Charlotte has been laying the groundwork for the next MLB expansion spot for a little bit now and I personally feel they might be a better fit for it.

Personally, I have always had the unrealistic pipe dream of getting an NBA team as we already have a great arena for it and the rivalry with Memphis could be fantastic. Plus, I think that basketball, soccer, and hockey are the sports of the future whereas baseball seems like its losing relevance. 

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River North was mentioned as a location for a 42,000 seat stadium in one article I read recently. 

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Portland, Oregon has all its ducks in a row regarding a stadium and a place to put it. They are looking like front runners for one of the expansion teams. 

Oakland seems to be making positive strides toward getting a new stadium,  but Tampa is stuck with a bad lease and is downsizing their dome to less than 40,000 seats. 

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We went over this when I was a member of the Urban Design Forum.....my idea was to put a ballpark on the East Bank between the Jefferson Street bridge and the railroad trestle. Then, put an amphitheater as big as Starwood in between the Victory Memorial Bridge and the railroad.  All three venues would be able to share parking. 

We would call it something like the RiverPark  Entertainment and Sportsplex.

I think though, that Nashville isn't quite ready for MLB just yet. The population isn't quite there for it but maybe in the next 10 to 15 years.

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2 minutes ago, Rockatansky said:

I'm doubtful Nashville is large enough to support 40k attendance at 80+ games a year.

Same.. but it won’t stop them from doing it anyways. 

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12 minutes ago, Rockatansky said:

I'm doubtful Nashville is large enough to support 40k attendance at 80+ games a year.

In fairness most existing MLB cities can't support this either.

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^ ^ ^ That is simply not true.  Baseball generates huge revenue in its regular season (and even more so in the post season).  Most of the franchises are quite profitable.  

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2 minutes ago, markhollin said:

^ ^ ^ That is simply not true.  Baseball generates huge revenue in its regular season (and even more so in the post season).  Most of the franchises are quite profitable.  

I believe with TV contracts and revenue sharing, teams can be profitable without selling out each game. I believe @DDIG was saying just attendance wise, 40K+ fans is not achieved by most teams. 

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1 minute ago, markhollin said:

^ ^ ^ That is simply not true.  Baseball generates huge revenue in its regular season (and even more so in the post season).  Most of the franchises are quite profitable.  

I'm not saying Baseball isn't profitable, I'm just saying next to no one delivers 40k+ attendance in 80+ games as the post I responded to noted.

Average attendance across the league last year was 28,000 people which was down from 30,000 people the year before.

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Very few franchises expect to sell out all regular season 81 home games--never have, and never will.  Generally speaking, from a business perspective, baseball is as healthy as it's ever been. The 68+ million in attendance for regular season games last year destroys every other sport.  At an average ticket price of $31, that's $2.1 BILLION just in box office. 

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37 minutes ago, markhollin said:

Very few franchises expect to sell out all regular season 81 home games--never have, and never will.  Generally speaking, from a business perspective, baseball is as healthy as it's ever been. The 68+ million in attendance for regular season games last year destroys every other sport.  At an average ticket price of $31, that's $2.1 BILLION just in box office. 

Well... I mean... if the NFL or NBA played 739 games every season I'm sure they'd make that kind of money too.  ;)

Edited by BnaBreaker
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45 minutes ago, markhollin said:

Very few franchises expect to sell out all regular season 81 home games--never have, and never will.  Generally speaking, from a business perspective, baseball is as healthy as it's ever been. The 68+ million in attendance for regular season games last year destroys every other sport.  At an average ticket price of $31, that's $2.1 BILLION just in box office. 

You and I are on the same page. My only point to the other poster above was you don't need to hit 40k attendance to have a successful MLB franchise. (Heck, the Rays, A's, and Marlins barely draw more than the Sounds)

Regardless, I think MLB to Nashville is a ten year off endeavor. In ten years the conditions COULD be right for Nashville, and this region makes sense geographically for the league.

Edited by DDIG
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Instead of building a 40k seat stadium, build a ultra luxurious 25-30k seat stadium with all the amenities and concessions that aren't highway robbery. If tickets are 100 bucks for a couple and then concessions AREN'T another 100, I would definitely be more willing to spend a sleepy summer day at the ball park. With wifi, comfortable seats, nice bathrooms, etc, etc, etc. I mean really do it up. 

 

I've thought Vandy should do the same for their football stadium. Make it the jewel in the rough. Make it basically like watching the game at home, minus a dome, but replays of other games at halftime, just an all around well produced experience. It would attract more people. 

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2 minutes ago, PaulChinetti said:

Instead of building a 40k seat stadium, build a ultra luxurious 25-30k seat stadium with all the amenities and concessions that aren't highway robbery. If tickets are 100 bucks for a couple and then concessions AREN'T another 100, I would definitely be more willing to spend a sleepy summer day at the ball park. With wifi, comfortable seats, nice bathrooms, etc, etc, etc. I mean really do it up. 

 

I've thought Vandy should do the same for their football stadium. Make it the jewel in the rough. Make it basically like watching the game at home, minus a dome, but replays of other games at halftime, just an all around well produced experience. It would attract more people. 

Yep - and I think that is probably the model MLB is looking at. The catch is you still will need a bunch of corporate money pumped into it. Right now it is too soon for Nashville (other sports would get cannibalized), but in ten years with Amazon established and other companies building up ecosystems around it I think we'll have the might.

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3 hours ago, BnaBreaker said:

Well... I mean... if the NFL or NBA played 739 games every season I'm sure they'd make that kind of money too.  ;)

And had stadiums double their size. 

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1 hour ago, PaulChinetti said:

Instead of building a 40k seat stadium, build a ultra luxurious 25-30k seat stadium with all the amenities and concessions that aren't highway robbery. If tickets are 100 bucks for a couple and then concessions AREN'T another 100, I would definitely be more willing to spend a sleepy summer day at the ball park. With wifi, comfortable seats, nice bathrooms, etc, etc, etc. I mean really do it up.

1 hour ago, DDIG said:

Yep - and I think that is probably the model MLB is looking at. The catch is you still will need a bunch of corporate money pumped into it. Right now it is too soon for Nashville (other sports would get cannibalized), but in ten years with Amazon established and other companies building up ecosystems around it I think we'll have the might.

Looking at the available space, and having toured the stadium during and after construction, I'm not convinced that First Tennessee Park couldn't be expanded to a 25,000- to 30,000-seat stadium, especially one heavy on premium seating and event space. (I'm actually not convinced it couldn't be expanded to a full-size MLB stadium, but smaller is obviously easier).

The expansion would require most of the upper deck and luxury boxes to be reconfigured, as well as the corporate offices and other back-of-house space behind the concourse. The resultant product would also be of a very unusual configuration, although with the 90s and 00s trend of manufactured quirkiness in ballpark design, I'm not sure this is a negative. On the other hand, the city would get a ballpark in a desirable location (neighborhood, history, and skyline views) for less cost than a new one built elsewhere.

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