SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Another domino has fallen for Major League Baseball, bringing Salt Lake and the Utah Major League group closer to bringing professional baseball to the state.
Considered one of two major steps before MLB officials can officially consider expanding to 32 teams, the Tampa Bay Rays announced plans to have a new stadium by the 2027 season.
It’s worth noting that Rob Manfred has repeatedly said that expansion would wait until stadiums for the A’s and Rays. There are no shovels in the ground yet, but… https://t.co/947mnE9QV3
—Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) September 18, 2023
What does this mean for the group aiming to bring the major leagues to Salt Lake?
In the short term, news about the situation at the Rays and A’s home stadiums has no impact. What those resolutions do is allow MLB to shift its focus toward a previously stated desire to expand to 32 teams.
Assuming MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred’s position hasn’t changed, his office could begin looking at potential expansion teams in cities like Montreal, Nashville, Portland and Salt Lake City. Manfred has previously stated that ideally MLB would add a team in the Eastern US and one in the Western US.
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Earlier this year, Gail Miller announced plans for the Larry H Miller Company to look to bring an MLB expansion franchise to the Beehive State. Calling Salt Lake a five-tool player, Miller and the Utah Major League coalition believe they have a great pitch come expansion time.
Steve Starks talking about the effort to bring Major League Baseball to SLC.
An amazing day for sports here in Utah! pic.twitter.com/LPfB9DBUZj
—Hans Olsen (@975Hans) April 12, 2023
“If you think about the potential for Major League Baseball to add a team to the east and a team to the west and you look at the map and compare us to other markets, we are positioned very favorably,” LHM Company CEO Steve Starks previously said. this year on KSL Sports Zone with Hans and Scotty G.
Tampa Bay Rays announce stadium plan and schedule
Rays leadership announced that an agreement has been reached to build a new stadium in St. Petersburg, FL.
The Rays have announced a new deal for St. Petersburg Stadium. The new stadium is scheduled to be ready for opening day in 2028.
– FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) September 19, 2023
The 30,000-seat domed stadium is expected to open early in the 2028 season and will cost more than $1.2 billion. Earlier this month, Rays owner Stuart Sternberg told the Tampa Bay Times that the organization expects to “pay half or more” regarding a new stadium.
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Figuring out the Rays’ long-term future has been considered a necessity before considering expansion. Tampa Bay’s current lease at Tropicana Field will expire after the 2027 season.
MLB to host November vote on Oakland A’s future
A “sell the team” mantra has developed in Oakland as John Fisher throws himself into his effort to move the franchise to Las Vegas.
Rumors about an MLB stadium on the Las Vegas Strip have long been discussed, but little of substance has been announced. Despite the lengthy process, a resolution for Oakland’s future home appears to be on the horizon.
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The A’s need 75% of the votes in favor of their relocation to move to Las Vegas. pic.twitter.com/VjzHi13SQx
– FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) September 15, 2023
After submitting a relocation request to the league in August, MLB owners are expected to vote on the move at owners meetings in mid-November. Fisher and the A’s need 75 percent (23 votes) of owners to accept their proposal before they are allowed to relocate.
At the moment, Fisher plans to build a $1.5 billion baseball stadium at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue, where the Tropicana complex currently stands.
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