Major League Baseball (MLB), the oldest among the four major sports league in the United States and Canada, currently has 30 teams. According to the latest MLB rumors, Mexico City and Montreal are the favorites to have an expansion team.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred recently joined the MLB Network on Thursday and discussed the possibilities of having an MLB team abroad. He mentioned that expanding the league and exploring a larger global market are some of his plans for the future.
“I think baseball’s a growth business and growth business tend to expand. For us, I think there are a couple things we need to get through. Once we’re past that, I’d love to see us expand. I think there are international locations,” Manfred said.
“My personal frontrunners would be Montreal or Mexico City where we could go play on a sustained basis, and I think would be great for the growth of the game. I think Mexico City, in particular, would be new ground,” he added.
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Montreal already had a major league team, the Expos, from 1969 to 2004 before relocating to Washington, D.C. and became the Washington Nationals. JP Morosi of FOX Sports reported that Montreal is ready for expansion as they have the right infrastructures.
The Canadian city also drew about 48,000 fans per game during the Toronto Blue Jays’ exhibition games in the2014 and 2015 seasons. Ticket sales are also off the charts for this season’s series between the Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox.
On the other hand, Mexico City is the largest metropolitan area in North America and possesses great potential. However, Morosi noted that getting an expansion team would take at least five years or even and full decade to accomplish.
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Other cities that could candidates for an MLB expansion team includes Austin, Vancouver, Charlotte and Nashville. Cuba may also be an option but its infrastructures are very old and would take many years to improve.
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