MLB commissioner Rob Manfred recently expressed his desire for the league to expand from 30 teams to 32, matching the number of teams in the NFL, after the year 2020.
Fox Sports compiled a list of the cities most deserving of an MLB expansion franchise when the league does decide to expand, and Austin was near the top of the list. In fact, Austin was the only team in the United States on the list. Here’s what columnist Jon Morosi said about the city’s possible appeal for an MLB team:
Austin is a haven for tech firms and startups and, consequently, the Millennials whom MLB wants to capture through its marketing efforts. with double digit population growth since the 2010 census, according to the Austin Chamber of Commerce, with one estimate projecting 2.6 million people will live in the metro area by 2025.
Morosi also cited the fact that there would be no other major sports team to compete with in the city, although the University of Texas does garner a lot of attention in the state’s capital.
In response to the list released by Fox Sports, the Austin Business Journal released a study outlining the reasons why Austin isn’t economically ready for a pro sports franchise. Here’s some of the highlights from their findings:
“In the ACBJ study, data journalist G. Scott Thomas used a metric called “total personal income,” which is the amount of money that residents earn in a year, to create an overall capacity score for sports spending. That score, from zero at the low end to 100 at the high end, measured the economic capacity a given area has to support a team in one of North America’s five major sports leagues.
However, the study did find that Austin has the economic capacity to support teams in the National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League and Major League Soccer, with capacity scores of 100 for each. But when it comes to the MLB, Austin only has a capacity score of 56, “inadequate” to support a team, according to the study.”
Whether or not the city is ready for a franchise right now could be a moot point, though, because MLB still has to resolve stadium issues in Tampa Bay and Oakland before they can Wholesale MLB Jerseys
think about adding any more teams. Who knows what Austin, one of the fastest growing cities in America, will look like in 8 10 years?