Will an MLB Team work in Orlando?

WEST PALM BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 28: A detailed view of the infield at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches before the game between the Houston Astros and the Miami Marlinson February 28, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Mar k Brown/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 28: A detailed view of the infield at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches before the game between the Houston Astros and the Miami Marlinson February 28, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Mar k Brown/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mary Holt/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Mary Holt/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

An MLB Team in Orlando?

What about the other Florida teams?

Then there are, of course, the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins, two teams that are vastly different in terms of performance on the field but so very alike when it comes to their poor attendance. Both the Rays and the Marlins have brought up the rear in MLB attendance for the last two seasons, with the former finishing dead for six-straight seasons from 2012-17.

Would it be wise to add another team into the mix when it’s quite obvious that baseball in Florida just doesn’t work? And population really can’t be used as an excuse, as all three cities are within a few hundred thousand in population:

2019 population

  • Orlando: 2.5 million
  • Tampa Bay: 2.783 million
  • Miami: 2.744 million

The current state of baseball in Florida just doesn’t seem to indicate that there’s an untapped market; that’s if, of course, any of it even matters.

Also, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has already assured the public many times that there will be no talks of expansion until both the Oakland A’s and Rays are provided with new stadiums.

Not just that, but during this past All-Star Break, when Manfred was asked about expansion, he mentioned “a real list of cities”… and Orlando wasn’t included:

"“Portland, Las Vegas, Charlotte, Nashville in the United States, certainly Montreal, maybe Vancouver, in Canada. We think there’s places in Mexico we could go over the long haul.”"

Although, Manfred’s term will end after the 2024 season, following the completion of his contract extension that went into effect last November. So his list may not be the same as the next commissioner’s.

Still, it’s perhaps widely speculated that Montreal is the frontrunner for receiving a baseball team, considering the nostalgia that’s involved. Behind Montreal, it seems that Las Vegas has really picked up some steam over the last several years. And I certainly don’t expect the league to increase beyond 32 teams… not anytime in the near future, at least.