failed mlb expansion teams

Buffalo’s 1990 MLB expansion delegation, which included New York Governor Mario Cuomo and Larry King, was upbeat about its chances to land a team after the minor league Buffalo Bisons set the all-time minor league attendance record in 1988. The case was settled in favor of the NHL more than a decade later. The MLB has not undergone an expansion since 1998 when the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (now the Rays) became the 29th and 30th teams to join the league. Despite the lack of current Major League Baseball expansion plans, a group that wants to bring a club to Nashville is branding its potential team as the Nashville Stars. “We don’t see a wimpy little Hound Dog logo,” Presley Enterprises spokesman Todd Morgan told reporters. [6], In June 1991, the expansion committee accepted the bids of the Miami and Denver groups to debut in 1993. The 'Jacks !!! The last time the league expanded was 1977, when the Toronto Blue Jays joined the American League. The suit was settled in 2003, five years after Tampa's major league team, the Devil Rays (now simply the Rays), began play in the American League. NL East. More than 70% of respondents to a poll in the Memphis Commercial-Appeal didn’t like the nickname, which was inspired by the hit single originally recorded in 1952 by Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton and adapted by Elvis four years later. The WHA folded before the 1974 season and the Totems joined the Central Hockey League in 1974-1975. While Ravens was the leading vote getter in a Baltimore Sun poll, the team feared a Ravens logo would too closely resemble the Atlanta Falcons’ logo, and ultimately decided on Bombers. Expansion to… Pros Pushed up against yet another failed bid for stadium funding in 2006, the Marlins decided to look at other markets, including San Antonio. With its future in limbo, the Blues did not participate in that year’s NHL entry draft. Harry Myers formed the Los Angeles Bulldogs as an independent football team in 1936 and was granted a “probationary franchise” by the NFL. But the Orlando bid had the backing of Amway Corp. president Richard DeVos. Local and regional companies—such as Erie Lake, Hensel Phelps Construction, KOA Radio, and the Rocky Mountain News—rounded out the group. In 1974, the city was named one of five finalists for an expansion team along with Honolulu, Phoenix, Seattle, and Tampa Bay. Abbey responded by filing an antitrust suit against the league, arguing that his team’s and the WHA’s demise was primarily the result of the NHL’s growth. The Hound Dogs’ unsuccessful bid wasn’t Memphis’s first brush with joining the NFL. Sporting leagues also hope that the expansion of their competition will grow the popularity of the sport generally. When the NFL expansion committee headed by current league commissioner Roger Goodell awarded franchises to Charlotte and Jacksonville in 1993, three other prospective teams with nicknames, logos, and color schemes already unveiled and season ticket deposits sold, were left disappointed. So I just kept going, and Nationals just came tumbling out.” Nationals was the name of Washington’s National League franchise in 1886 and the name the team adopted when the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington, DC, after the 2004 season. After previous failed attempts to bring the Major League Baseball to Colorado (most notably the Pittsburgh Pirates nearly relocating to Denver following the Pittsburgh drug trials in 1985), by the late 1980s a team seemed to be a possibility in Denver. [8] The Denver group chose to call their franchise the Colorado Rockies, the same name used as the National Hockey League franchise that played in Denver from 1976 to 1982. The group selected was led by John Antonucci, an Ohio beverage distributor, and Michael I. Monus, the head of the Phar-Mor drugstore chain. “By the year 2000, we are going to have a franchise in Mexico City,” NBA commissioner David Stern said in 1994. [11], The Tampa Bay Baseball Group sued MLB for allegedly reneging on an agreement to grant an expansion team to Tampa. [9] An expansion draft to stock both franchises was set for November 1992. The 1961 Major League Baseball expansion resulted in the formation of two new Major League Baseball (MLB) franchises in the American League (AL). [8], Though previous expansions allowed the drafting of players from the same league only, Vincent declared that the American League would receive $42 million of the National League's $190 million in expansion revenue so that the AL would provide players in the National League expansion draft. MLB now sees gross revenues in excess of $10 billion, and with two new clubs the owners would likely garner $2 billion or more in expansion fees, not to mention new media rights revenues. Having stadiums and some fan base focal points in the east and west can justify any division alignment. As one reporter noted, the logo, designed by the same advertising firm that created the logo for the Orlando Magic, was “strikingly similar to the logo used by Paramount Pictures Corporation for its recent baseball movie, Major League.”. After filing a lawsuit against Ralston, the league imposed a deadline to sell the team to a new ownership group before it would consider dissolving the Blues. St. Louis was considered one of the favorites to land a team and a local radio station wrote a fight song for the Stallions, who would wear purple and gold. [10] In an attempt to win support in the American League and balance the vote, Vincent decreed that the AL owners were entitled to 22% of the $190 million take. The more teams there are, the broader the appeal, especially for fans that live in a geographical baseball desert. Rhinos was chosen as a replacement nickname, but the backlash from fans was so great that Weinglass and Glazer reopened the search. St. Louis didn’t have to wait long for an NFL team, though. [citation needed]. They haven't expanded since 1998, but if there is MLB expansion, here are seven cities for new teams. MLB just wouldn't work in Nashville, for reasons of geography more than anything else. After all, baseball, like all sports, has taken a huge financial hit, and there is still a lot of questions about the 2021 season.Add to that the fact that the current collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2021 season. I never read a book in my life and Edgar Allan Poe never met me.” Baltimore missed out on the NFL in 1993, but had a successful CFL team in 1994 and 1995. Shinn wowed the NHL expansion committee with a 14-minute video, which noted, among other things, that two-thirds of the United States population lives within 750 miles of Hampton Roads. And, with the premise that adding more teams will add more revenue—while, don’t forget, playing into the back-and-forth tactics of the CBA—the idea of expansion … But the Gateway to the West, which was home to the Cardinals before they left for Phoenix after the 1987 season, missed out as the result of an internal dispute over the lease for the newly built Edward Jones Dome. The winning name, as selected by Washington Metropolitan Baseball President John Akridge, was Nationals. Expansion is a win-win scenario. In 1892, the National League expanded to 12 teams with the addition of 4 teams from the American Association, which had disbanded after 10 years. = 98 games , play other 8 league teams 6 games =48 games, play 8 teams in other league 2 games =16 games. It’s also led to MLB expanding from only a handful of teams to 30 and yet still talk of more in the future. Also, an advisory committee was formed in 1990 by then-Governor of Colorado Roy Romer to recruit an ownership group. [2] On December 18, 1990, the committee eliminated Charlotte, Nashville, Phoenix and Sacramento from consideration to cut the list down to six finalists. MLB has toyed with the idea of expansion… “We’re not in a position to deal with a market that size at this time, based on where the NHL is and where we need to expand in order to strengthen the league,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said. Mexico City has been an intriguing destination for expansion in several sports. The goal is to present an official expansion proposal to MLB at the 2021 Winter Meetings in Nashville. Paul for the start of the 1961 season and became the Minnesota Twins. // 1. The NFL wasn’t looking to add another team at the time, so Bassett filed a lawsuit against the league claiming that it violated antitrust laws by denying the Grizzlies, who were briefly known as the Southmen, entry into the NFL. [1], Ten cities were considered serious candidates for the two spots: Buffalo, Charlotte, Denver, Miami, Nashville, Orlando, Phoenix, Sacramento, Tampa-St. Petersburg, and Washington, D.C.[2] The Florida Suncoast Dome in St. Petersburg and Pilot Field in Buffalo were built specifically to lure an existing or expansion MLB franchise. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has not shied away from talking about expanding both in the US and internationally, either. Driving the news: The Portland Diamond Project, the group attempting to bring baseball to Oregon, recently revealed a list of 12 charter investors. In 1892, the AA franchises in Baltimore, Louisville, St. Louis, and Washington joined the National League. After Elvis Presley Enterprises, which controls the late singer’s licensing rights, became an investor, Dunavant nicknamed his prospective team the Hound Dogs. With the COVID-19 pandemic the league may consider more than ever the need to introduce additional teams for the much needed cash injection. “We’re up on everybody with the nickname and the logo,” SunRays president Pat Williams said. “It just came to mind,” 17-year-old Tim Stump, one of several fans to submit the winning name, told reporters. St. Louis was the third city that came oh-so-close to being awarded an expansion NFL team in 1993. Get Used to It. This decision marked the first time in expansion history that leagues were required to share expansion revenue or provide players for another league's expansion draft. His group planned to construct a 50,000-seat domed stadium if Mexico City were awarded a team. Five years later, an American Basketball Association team called the Houn’Dawgs played a season in Memphis before disbanding. After Seattle and Tampa Bay were awarded teams, John Bassett moved his World Football League team from Toronto to Memphis and signed several NFL stars, including Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick. [5], U.S. Atlanta, Columbus, Nashville, and St. Paul, which were among the nine candidates, were awarded expansion franchises over the next few years. Angered with being forced to remain in St. Louis, the Ralston ownership group announced it had no intention of operating the team the following season. The prospective ownership group announced it preferred a nickname other than Senators and asked fans to submit ideas on a postcard. Vincent said the owners expanded to raise money to pay their collusion debt. Bassett immediately began a push to join the NFL, capping a season-ticket drive with a telethon that garnered 46,000 pledges. He had that element of danger about him.”. . In mid-1974, the NHL awarded Vince Abbey, president of the World Hockey Association’s Seattle Totems, an expansion franchise to begin play in the 1976. Within three months of a laboar agreement, commissioner will announce timetable", "Baseball Ready to Add Miami and Denver Teams", "6 cities named finalists for 2 NL expansion teams", "Mack Pushing Commissioner; Wants Expansion Timetable", "Owners' Group Approves Denver, Miami Baseball: Final hurdle is vote by all owners. The NBA's Vancouver Grizzlies relocated to Memphis in 2001. Washington, DC, which had been abandoned by two franchises in the previous 30 years, was another city contending for an expansion team in 1990. Make it one team. Nearest Teams: 247 miles (Braves), 402 miles (Nationals) Sports History: Panthers (NFL), Hornets (NBA), Knights (AAA) The Case for… Charlotte’s population is more than enough to sustain an MLB team. The team nickname comes with the context that there is no formal effort by the MLB to expand. Here are the stories of those three (almost) teams and eight other failed expansion bids in various sports. The NL had already picked up 2 AA franchises in Brooklyn and Cincinnati for the 1890 season, to go along with the original Boston and Chicago franchises and existing teams in Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. [12], Establishment of the 27th and 28th teams in MLB, Major League Baseball Players Association, 1992 Major League Baseball expansion draft, "NL will grow by 2, but first . California entrepreneur Harry Ornest’s bid to buy the team was approved before the deadline and the Blues remain in St. Louis today. Both the NFL and NHL have 32 teams, or soon will, and MLB certainly must look at that and want in. The delegation received nearly 10,000 deposits for season tickets, but the Bisons’ bid was denied. The 1993 Major League Baseball expansion resulted in Major League Baseball (MLB) adding two expansion teams to the National League (NL) for the 1993 season: the Colorado Rockies and the Florida Marlins (now known as the Miami Marlins). The idea of expansion has been muted before, but there’s no shortage of candidates. Talks of expansion began on August 8, 1985, when the players and the owners agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA). For the stories of the Seattle White Sox, St. Louis Patriots and other almost-relocations, read this. The NHL reneged on its offer and denied Abbey’s team an expansion bid. But upstate New York is far enough away from New York City that it could sustain its own team in an MLB expansion scenario. “It will be rough and tough just like Elvis. The Nashville Stars could be MLB's next team – and baseball's first Black-owned club. This 12-team configuration … Not everyone was enamored with the idea, however. The Bisons drew 1.15 million fans, which was more than three major league teams, despite the fact that stadium capacity was less than 20,000. MLB only reluctantly added 9th and 10th teams to the mix for the exciting but totally unfair wildcard round. If two teams are added to the league, MLB may decide to ditch the traditional six divisions in favor of eight divisions with four teams in each one—identical to the layout of the NFL. Orlando was one of six cities chosen as a finalist and the only one without an existing stadium for its prospective team to call home. An MLB expansion team in Buffalo has probably gotten a lot less likely in the last 30 years, but back in the 60s and 70s those league expansions would not necessarily look out of place with a Buffalo franchise. The team was wildly popular with local fans – Elvis reportedly attended a game – but the WFL folded in the middle of the 1975 season. Retail executive Leonard “Boogie” Weinglass and Florida businessman Malcolm Glazer, the heads of the two prospective ownership groups of the Baltimore franchise, expressed interest in buying the Colts nickname from Indianapolis Colts owner Robert Irsay, but it wasn’t for sale. - Page 5 Population base per franchise (with MLB team): 679,879 Number of Fortune 1000 Companies: 8. In 1994, Alfredo Harp Helu, the owner of the Mexican League’s Mexico City Red Devils and one of the largest banks in Mexico, submitted a bid for an expansion Major League Baseball team in Mexico City. This is an extreme yet encouraging talking point given the typical doomsday talk about the state of baseball that typically graces radio airwaves. Owners will see a massive infusion of money should expansion happen. It wasn’t exactly a failed expansion bid, but the prairie town of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, was prepared to welcome the St. Louis Blues in 1983. Senator Connie Mack III from Florida, the grandson of baseball great Connie Mack and a member of the Senate Task Force on Major League Baseball, pushed Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent to expand to Florida. A recent article in Baseball America suggested MLB is considering an expansion to 32 teams and a 156-game schedule. The Colorado Baseball Commission, led by banking executive Larry Varnell, was successful in getting Denver voters to approve a 0.1% sales tax to help finance a new baseball stadium. With the alignment MLB created for this season, it has rekindled conversations about future alignment and possible expansion. By the time the courts ruled in favor of the league several years later, Bassett was owner of the USFL’s Tampa Bay Bandits. (I remember my dad submitted Belters, a reference to both a batter hitting a ball and the Beltway that encircles DC.) That led to a push for expansion, causing the changes of additional divisions, wild card playoffs and more. Details of expansion were hammered out in the 1990 CBA. Teams: Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, Miami Marlins, Washington Nationals Longest flight: Miami to Washington D.C. (2 hours, 35 minutes) While many NL East fans would hate to see their rivalries with the Mets and Phillies go, the Reds are greeted with open arms in … Major League Baseball hasn’t expanded since 1998, but if there is MLB expansion, here are seven potential cities for new teams. The most feasible way to do that involves MLB expanding: adding two teams to bring their total to 32 teams. Rob Manfred sees MLB as a growth industry and wants to get to 32 teams. . It also had a nickname (SunRays), color scheme (quicksilver, electric blue, and SunRay magenta), and a manager in waiting (Bob Boone.) After awarding one of the two expansion teams to Charlotte, the NFL delayed the announcement of the second city to give St. Louis’s prospective ownership group time to resolve its issues, but the Stallions never made it out of the stable. The NFL returned to the city before the 1996 season when the relocated Cleveland Browns franchise began play as the Baltimore Ravens. MLB has toyed with the idea of expansion teams. The expansion would seem to be off the table at this time. Major League Baseball in Vancouver and Montreal. The decision to expand, and the process of selecting expansion cities typically takes many years. Louisville, St. Louis, and Washington joined the Central Hockey League 1974-1975. Lost out, partly due to its relatively small television market charm City had failed mlb expansion teams without an NFL since... 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