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Let's put a third team in New York

Dec 28, 2009, 6:00 PM EDT

While we all grouse about how much money the Yankees have, Sports Illustrated’s Tim Marchman reminds us why, exactly, they have so much money:

According to the measure used by the Office of Management and Budget, the New York metropolitan
region numbers about 19 million people. In other words, New York has
one MLB team for every 9.5 million people. Chicago, by this measure,
has one for every five million people, just as Miami and Atlanta do.
Los Angeles has one for every 6.5 million people, as do Dallas and
Philadelphia.

So, with such an inherent advantage in eyes, which gives their cable outlet an inherent advantage in revenue, which gives the team so much more money, the obvious solution is to impose a salary cap, right? No, silly. That’s hard. This is much easier, at least theoretically-speaking:

The better solution would be to place a third team in New York. That
would bring the town’s population:team ratio down to the level of Los
Angeles or Philadelphia, and with the same number of people and dollars
chasing more baseball, would quite likely bring Yankee spending down a
hair without doing anything punitive or unfair.

Easier in that the territorial rights system which keeps a third team out of Gotham could be cast aside by the owners themselves, whereas a salary cap would require a labor battle that the owners could never win.

Not that getting the owners to roll over for that would be easy — both New York teams and their affiliated interests would go crazy, and the teams in Los Angeles and Chicago could fear that they’d be next.  Plus, you have the small problem of where specifically a third New York team would play and who would pay the billion dollars+ for the building.  New Jersey, in a ballpark paid for buy an eccentric billionaire?  OK, we’ll work on it.

The point is that a third team in New York is merely hard, not impossible.  It worked for nearly sixty years, so it could work again.  At any rate, it seems more realistic to agitate for that than it would to agitate for a salary cap.

  1. ROK - Dec 28, 2009 at 6:44 PM

    I am a 54 year-old life-long Mets fan — born and rasied in NJ and currently live in Princeton …. I would love to see a third team in this area …. not because I would turn allegiance, but so that the Mets could hopefully assess the landscape and start making the right moves …. unfortunatly I believe that there is a snowballs chance in hell of ever seeing it.

  2. APBA Guy - Dec 28, 2009 at 6:56 PM

    Don’t show this to Lew Wolfe. He’ll have the A’s on a plane for Jersey City by March 1, 2010.

  3. Jess - Dec 28, 2009 at 7:14 PM

    I’m a Yankee fan and I think that this is a great idea and would actually be a lot of fun. But, you forget one thing: Where are these fans coming from. You are assuming that 1/3 of New Yorkers will immediately become fans of this new team. The fans are already set. Being a fan of a team passes on. This team would never get any fans, or at least not within this century.

  4. James - Dec 28, 2009 at 8:03 PM

    There is already 3 teams that represent New York, which is a State, not a city.

  5. Sean - Dec 28, 2009 at 8:03 PM

    The other issue is which league do they go into? Big issue as they will be playing their neighbors FREQUENTLY.

  6. Ryan - Dec 28, 2009 at 8:13 PM

    Really? What’s the 3rd team that already represents New York?

  7. David - Dec 28, 2009 at 8:16 PM

    Bring the Dodgers back to Brooklyn!!!!

  8. john pileggi - Dec 28, 2009 at 8:21 PM

    I can never get enough baseball, and as a New Yorker, having a third team would be fun, but the indemnity payments and the revenue sharing would be very tough to deal with for a new team, and getting Yanks and Mets, with their own networks, to sign off would be quite a task.

  9. Kenneth Castillo - Dec 28, 2009 at 9:31 PM

    The LA area really has 18 million people not 12 million, and thats why I think LA could also use a third, the Dodgers represent Most of LA County, Ventura, Bakersfield to the IE. The Angels represent The OC, Southeast LA County, and Riverside. Why not place a team in the IE? They can represent the 2 plus million of people living in Victorville, San Bernadino, Riverside, Palm Springs, Hemet, ect. Thats more people than Minneapolis, Detroit, Cincinnati, or Miami. I think only New York and LA can have a third team

  10. Kenneth castillo - Dec 28, 2009 at 9:32 PM

    The Dodgers are ours now…Thanks Brooklyn

  11. AJ Gallo - Dec 28, 2009 at 9:56 PM

    Jess is absolutely correct. On the money. Regardless of which team would move to New York and regardless of which league they’d be in, whomever is a Mets fan will stay a Mets fan and whomever is a Yankee fan will stay a Yankee fan. To think than even so much as 1 % of either fan base would switch to a new team is silly. And if they did, then they weren’t much of a fan to begin with. Besides, you wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting either the Yanks or Mets to consent to such a concept. And forget about the owners trying to ram that down anyone’s throat. You’ve got a better chance of seeing God than that happening.

  12. Mitchell - Dec 28, 2009 at 10:19 PM

    Nah, this is just a very goofy idea with no chance whatsover of becoming real. Next contestant please?

  13. YankeesfanLen - Dec 28, 2009 at 10:26 PM

    There’s almost too many comments to make on this one, so I’ll just offer this up:
    There’s one eccentric billionaire in New Jersey that will be looking for something to do in a couple of weeks.

  14. steve - Dec 28, 2009 at 10:50 PM

    a team in north Jersey would be completely doable Morris county alone has 500,000 residents, I believe Bergen county has over one million. There’s no great downtown area, places like Newark or Jersey City aren’t ideal. There’s plenty of highway access, however, and a stadium in the Meadowlands could thrive with commuters. Better yet, a stadium in the New Brunswick area, at the confluence of I 287, the parkway, the turnpike, and route 1, would be a 45 minute drive from the Trenton Area, Newark, Bergen County, and the northweset suburbs, an easy drive for some 3 million fans.

  15. David - Dec 29, 2009 at 1:08 AM

    Thieves! &%$#@ Walter O’Malley!!!

  16. Chuck - Dec 29, 2009 at 6:37 AM

    New York already had 3 teams until the 50’s, Yankees, Dodgers,Giants.
    Yeah, New Jersey should have a team, Low budget teams like the Marlins,Pirates (boy would their fans complain), Rays (no one down there seems to care), Royals (again the fans would complain) or Padres
    (fans don’t always show up anyway.

  17. bh0673 - Dec 29, 2009 at 8:14 AM

    First of all Jess there are enough sports fans that could make a NJ team viable. There are alot of sports fans in NJ that are either unable or afraid to make the trip into the Bronx or Queens to see a game unless they can get on a bus trip. Chuck yes the New York area did have three teams but they again were all in New York and back in the 50’s it wasn’t easy for people to travel even then. I for one would love to see another team in New Jersey especially if it were an American League team, as a full season ticket holder with the Yankees I wouldn’t switch teams but it would still give me a chance to see more of my team without driving the 60 miles to the Bronx. There is anough money in the New Jersey area untapped that could make another baseball team financially sound and draw enought fans to be successful and maybe even draw new fans that are not baseball fans yet. There are 9 professional sports teams in the NY area and they have all have been able to draw. I think any team placed in NJ would do better then alot of the small market teams in both leagues.

  18. bh0673 - Dec 29, 2009 at 8:23 AM

    NJ is the most densly populated state per square mile and 11th in total population. It does make a strong case if it were located somewhere where mass transit or highways were accessible.
    1 1 New Jersey 1,171.1
    2 2 Rhode Island 1,012.3
    3 3 Massachusetts 822.7
    4 4 Connecticut 722.9
    5 5 Maryland 574.8
    6 7 Delaware 442.6
    7 6 New York 408.7
    8 8 Florida 338.4
    9 9 Ohio 280.0
    10 10 Pennsylvania 277.4
    11 12 California 234.4
    12 11 Illinois 231.2
    13 13 Hawaii 199.8
    14 14 Virginia 194.8
    15 17 North Carolina 186.0
    16 15 Michigan 177.3
    17 16 Indiana 176.9
    18 18 Georgia 164.8
    19 19 Tennessee 149.4
    20 20 New Hampshire 146.7
    21 21 South Carolina 146.4
    22 23 Kentucky 106.8
    23 24 Wisconsin 103.1
    24 22 Louisiana 98.6
    25 25 Washington 97.2
    26 28 Texas 91.3
    27 26 Alabama 91.2
    U.S. Average 86.2
    28 27 Missouri 85.3
    29 29 West Virginia 75.3
    30 30 Vermont 67.2
    31 31 Minnesota 65.3
    32 32 Mississippi 62.2
    33 36 Arizona 55.8
    34 34 Arkansas 54.4
    35 33 Iowa 53.5
    36 35 Oklahoma 52.7
    37 37 Colorado 46.9
    38 38 Maine 42.7
    39 39 Oregon 39.0
    40 40 Kansas 33.9
    41 41 Utah 32.2
    42 43 Nevada 23.4
    43 42 Nebraska 23.1
    44 44 Idaho 18.1
    45 45 New Mexico
    46 46 South Dakota 10.5
    47 47 North Dakota 9.3
    48 48 Montana 6.5
    49 49 Wyoming 5.4
    50 50 Alaska 1.2

  19. Talex - Dec 29, 2009 at 8:41 AM

    Where I don’t think a 3rd team in New York is such a bad idea, the notion that somehow this will bring in less dollars to the Yankees via tickets sold, cable, and merchandising is downright silly; and I cannot believe anyone in the media is so naive to think that it would have even a small pinkie dent in the Yankee’s revenue. The New York Yankees are the most recognised sports team in the history of world sports. People, Yankee fans, and non-Yankee fans go to Yankees games, because it’s popular and the place to be seen. The Yankees are a brand and a New York version of the Florida Marlins would be looked at like it was a minor league team. It’s amazing. The Yankees have the highest payroll for 10 years and win one World Series and everyone has to figure out a way to rip apart the Yankees revernues and payroll. I can’t imagine what would happen if they win the World Series two years in a row or what would happen if the Red Sox payroll goes over the luxery tax threshold–you’ll probably start screaming for a second team in Boston.
    Maybe you should be writing for the NY Post buddy!

  20. Jason @ IIATMS - Dec 29, 2009 at 8:51 AM

    Just ask the Nets how successful it is to compete against the entrenched team. Heck, just ask the METS.
    There is sufficient households/people to theoretically support the team, by simple math. Practically speaking, I think it’d be a tougher road. MUCH tougher.
    Interesting idea, though.

  21. steve - Dec 29, 2009 at 9:21 AM

    Bring back the Dodgers.

  22. YANKEES1996 - Dec 29, 2009 at 10:09 AM

    The number of fans, the infrastructure and the area are not the concerns, GETTING THE OWNERSHIP OF THE YANKEES AND METS TO SIGN OFF IS! You can think about it, dream about it and even fantasize and begin planning it, but it will never happen.

  23. RobRob - Dec 29, 2009 at 10:14 AM

    Of course, the real reason why this will never happen is that the owners’ desire for a salary cap has little to do with competitive balance and is really about limiting players’ salaries. Adding a team to the NYC market would do the exact opposite.

  24. Shely - Dec 29, 2009 at 10:19 AM

    Hey, is there a team somewhere we haven’t heard of yet in N.Y.? Is Buffalo in line for a MLB team? What are you talking about? Although I would like to see a team in Brooklyn again. Bring back the Dodgers!

  25. Bill@TDS - Dec 29, 2009 at 11:52 AM

    I think a lot of people here are overrating fan loyalty. For one thing, if there’s suddenly a major league baseball team in the neighborhood you’ve lived in for 20 or 50 years, you’re probably going to be a fan of that team (maybe you’ll still root for the Mets/Yanks too, but not primarily). For another thing, tickets will be more attainable and almost certainly more affordable. For a third thing, yes, do look at the Mets. They’re doing just fine. You don’t have to be another Yankees to be a financially successful team. And look at the Nationals–they’re failing, but because they suck, not because the Orioles were entrenched. There are people who had been Orioles fans for 40 years who immediately became Nats fans because they were closer to their own hometown. And no, another team in New York isn’t the same as a team in a neighboring city…but it’s a biiiig city. I think a third team would do just fine.

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