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So let’s move a baseball team to San Berdoo

Dec 27, 2011, 8:50 AM EDT

San Bernadino

Via BTF, we find a very cool set of charts over at the Wages of Wins Journal* showing which metropolitan areas in the U.S., based on local income and size, could support expansion franchises or relocated franchises for the major sports.

The upshot for baseball: there really is no place for a team to move that isn’t already part of another team’s existing territory. The largest cities have gotten larger and richer and they are the most viable options for new or relocated franchises. New York could handle at least one more. Two if you count Stamford/Bridgeport/Norwalk, Connecticut. Chicago could handle one.  The Inland Empire of California.  Any of the other usual suspects such as Las Vegas are “marginal” at best.

Maybe it’s academic. It appears that the Athletics are going to get their stuff figured out soon. That leaves only the Rays as a problem. At least for now.


* Yes, I realize the post is from October. I never saw it before, though, and that’s one of the reasons why I go to Baseball Think Factory every day. They always find this kind of stuff.

  1. kiwicricket - Dec 27, 2011 at 9:41 AM

    $85.4 billion for MLB
    $37.6 billion for the NHL
    $36.7 billion for the NFL
    $34.2 billion for the NBA

    Why is the price of ‘adequately supporting’ a MLB team twice the price?
    Should they be re-using baseballs?

    • DJ MC - Dec 27, 2011 at 10:31 AM

      I would imagine that it has a lot to do with the length of the season (with twice as many home games as an NBA or NHL team) and the lack of versatility of most modern ballparks compared to multiuse arenas and football stadia.

      • kiwicricket - Dec 27, 2011 at 11:09 AM

        Thanks. I thought the same thing, but it’s interesting how the NFL franchises require a ton of cash for only a relatively small amount of games.

  2. Old Gator - Dec 27, 2011 at 9:44 AM

    Scraping the bottom of the sports news barrel during the Christmas-New Year’s dead zone, are we?

    Still plenty of time for the Razed to become the San Antonio Sidewinders. That water slide in New Braunfels is really getting old.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 27, 2011 at 9:54 AM

      On a positive note, it is more interesting than reading a story about the Marlins thinking about signing Gregg Dobbs.

      • kiwicricket - Dec 27, 2011 at 10:20 AM

        The combined effect of your two posts amused me.

      • Old Gator - Dec 27, 2011 at 10:55 AM

        They need some insurance in case Scott Cousins has another delayed reaction to pranging his prow on the other team’s catcher.

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 27, 2011 at 2:18 PM

        I wrote too soon. Aaron did do the Greg Dobbs story in the afternoon. Groan!

  3. kopy - Dec 27, 2011 at 10:58 AM

    This stuff is interesting, but the research seems too simplistic. Each market has its own unique quirks that can’t be solved by a personal income calculation.

    Minneapolis-St. Paul is viewed as a over-extended market, but this seems to ignore the fact that they already have the infrastructure in place for their teams (Vikings are trying to move out of the dome, but this is more out of desire and not a necessity), and they have a very large corporate presence in the area. The area is home to about 1% of USA’s population and 4% of Fortune 500 companies. When times are tough, it’s pretty nice to have Target and Best Buy paying your bills. These companies draw revenue from outside the market and funnel it to the local teams.

    Just because Lexington, KY has more than $15.4 Billion in personal income doesn’t mean they’d support a MLS franchise. This study has the fingerprints of somebody who started with a conclusion and found the statistics to support it.

    • e5again - Dec 27, 2011 at 1:58 PM

      Totally agree. Also, there is no consideration for big time college sports or places that pull in fans from a larger geographical area. It is fun to think about.

  4. aaronmoreno - Dec 27, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    Being from the San Bernardino area, Craig, I can tell you that the county is crooked enough to get its own franchise. It would be a hoot to watch the indictments following the IE getting a baseball team.

  5. jkcalhoun - Dec 27, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    San Jose-Santa Clara-Sunnyvale: No
    Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington: Marginal

    The A’s would be better off going back whence they came.

  6. leftywildcat - Dec 27, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    Putting the A’s back in Phila would be a fantastic idea, since the Phillies sell out every game.

    Put them way up in Northeast Phila, far from the Philles, where they ought to draw a heck of a strong Central NJ crowd to see the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rangers.

    Maybe the Rangers would like that area instead.

    • kopy - Dec 27, 2011 at 1:01 PM

      The Rangers have the 4th largest market all to themselves. Moving to Philly to share the 5th largest market with another currently successful team would be a pretty bold strategy, to say the least.

      • Old Gator - Dec 27, 2011 at 6:05 PM

        I think there’d be a lot of culture shock in moving to Feelie and finding your hoagie roll full of horsemeat and Velveeta. You might begin to wonder whether or not there were any cows on the east coast, you know?

      • Gamera the Brave - Dec 27, 2011 at 9:42 PM

        Gator, having been to bucolic, halcyon San Bernardino a couple of times, I can safely opine that it’s a perfect move for the A’s – from “San Francisco’s ugly bedroom” to “There is no there there”…
        The players might not even notice…

  7. Daltons Bengals - Dec 27, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    Move Tampa Bay to the Inland Empire and re-name them the” California Rays.”

  8. dondbaseball - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    The article seems to ignore “area preferences” for what sports would do well vs. ones that would not. The Stamford-Norwalk-Bridgeport corridor would NOT do well for Basketball. It is a Baseball region with Stamford-Norwalk and Fairfield leading the way with it’s youth programs. Number of youth players who go on to play in college is high for baseball and practically zero for basketball. The other big problem that I find annoying is the “territory” issue baseball grants. When I look at a map and see San Jose about the same distance from Oakland as it is from San Fran but yet have to listen the some sort of “compromise”. I say that as I don’t think either the Yanks or the Mets would ever want to cede those rights for a team in CT. Plus with the bad precedent set in Baltimore where the broadcast rights for Nats games are shared with Angelos, how can a team truly reap its own successful development? Meaning if the Connecticut Nutmegs outdraw the Mets, they would have to be paying the Mets a fee as their broadcasts generated a growing interest.

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