By Eduardo Monk Jr.
Sports leagues are places driven by the growth and the quality of their rosters, whether it be more cities added and awarded franchises or the names on those teams growing in national spotlight and general adoration. So it goes without saying that whenever any league adds a whole new team, every fan, hardcore and casual, is put on notice. A good expansion can breathe completely new life into a stale season.
The NHL’s Las Vegas Golden Knights are the latest in a long line of expansions in sports history. But where to next for the world of professional athletics? Which cities deserve to have a pro sports team call home?
That’s the question I have been wondering for while now and I think it’s time to do something about it. For the next five days, Sporting Daily will be analyzing, researching and experimenting to determine the six finest cities to house a new franchise in the five major sports leagues, the NBA, NHL, MLB, NFL and MLS.
The MLB is chugging its way through the dog days of the season before the playoffs roll around. They haven’t expanded in 20 years and injecting some new franchises feels overdue. America’s Pastime is struggling to bring in fans like they used to but an expansion with a great city could be exactly what the Majors needs.
Here are the six best cities for the MLB to expand to.
Nashville has proven time and time again that when given a team to be proud of, they will go absolutely nuts over that sport. If baseball wants new fans, setting up shop in Nashville is the perfect spot. We’ve seen it with the Predators-a good team will let the sport explode in the city. Baseball is struggling. A solid team in Music City would automatically rake in hundreds of thousands of new fans.
Plus, Tennessee is only an MLB team away from being a Big Four state. I believe they deserve it.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Baseball is in a rough spot. Fans are getting bored of the sport. However, sending a team to New Orleans will immediately spice things up for the league. A very culturally strong city, New Orleans with any sports team will bring their unique identity to the league. With some great marketing, the sport could blow up in the city of New Orleans and with that, a new culture is introduced which will undoubtedly bring in countless new fans.
Charlotte, North Carolina
When it comes to sports, Charlotte can go all in when they have something to be proud of. The Panthers are superheros to them and with a strong team, the sport of baseball could erupt in the Carolinas. North Carolina is one of the highest state populations in the country without an MLB team and I say it’s time to change that.
The Midwest and baseball go hand in hand and it’s actually really surprising there isn’t a team in Indiana yet. Indiana is an classic, old-school sports state and bringing a major league team here could rake in millions of more fans. Add a rivalry with every other team in the Midwest and it’s a prospect that should have happened years ago.
Richmond is one of the most historical cities in the country. Baseball is one of the most historical sports on the planet. This matchup is one that should have happened years ago. This would be Virginia’s only major professional team, something that would excite hundreds of thousands in one of the US’s oldest states. There is too much history wrapped in both of these things to keep them apart.
Not to mention this could be an awesome rivalry with the Washington Nationals.
Louisville, despite not even having a professional team, is hands down one of the best sports towns in the country. It’s a total shame this team doesn’t have a baseball team at this point. The city has some of the richest baseball history in the country and an MLB team would absolutely explode in the city. This is city that would almost immediately have one the best fan bases in the league by simply existing.
A rivalry with the historical Cincinatti Reds would be nearly guaranteed. A wicked fanbase and a rivalry? Bottom line, Louisville needs a team.