Downtown Portland, Oregon Skyline

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred recently went on record to state that Portland, Oregon was on the short list of potential cities that could land a team down the road. Just a few months ago, Manfred also cited Las Vegas (Nevada), Charlotte (North Carolina), Montreal (Quebec) and Mexico City (Mexico) as potential cities that could land a team as well. Major League Baseball hasn’t expanded since 1997 when it introduced the Tampa Bay Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks.

However, the league’s priority right now is to get new stadiums constructed for the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics before expansion talks can begin. Potential sites for a new baseball stadium in Portland include Montgomery Park in Northwest Portland, the Portland Public Schools site near the Moda Center and the old Memorial Coliseum site. The city of Portland unsuccessfully attempted to bring the Montreal Expos to Portland back in 2003 (the Expos eventually became the Washington Nationals). Surprisingly, there are still funds available ($150 million) from that failed attempt that could help jump start the construction of a new baseball stadium.

Portland would certainly be considered a small market baseball team compared to the massive baseball markets like Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. However, Portland already has a larger television market than MLB cities such as Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Baltimore and Kansas City. According to the Seattle Times, the Seattle Mariners would be directly opposed to an expansion team in Portland since the city is considered part of the Seattle television market. Portland is currently home to two professional sports teams; the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers and Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers.

 

Reference:

OregonLive.com

 

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