SEATTLE, Wash. – Portland got shortlisted for the Major League Baseball (MLB) team expansion project, according to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.
The commissioner made the announcement on Wednesday, September 21, in an event in Seattle. He also added that Tampa Bay and Oakland need to settle their issues with their stadiums before MLB considers expanding there.
The baseball institution opens two slots for cities that follow the West Coast time zone to join the league. Rob Manfred stated that they are considering Portland as a candidate.
However, Seattle Mariners might oppose to the Portland expansion plan, as the Mariners’ media market extends to Portland fans.
Two years ago, the MLB commissioner mentioned Portland as a potential partner during the Baseball Writers Association of America luncheon. He also thought of North Carolina, New Jersey, Mexico City, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, and Las Vegas.
Portland is considered to have one of the biggest television audience shares in the United States. It places 25th in the whole country, beating cities that have MLB teams such as Cincinnati, San Diego, Baltimore, Milwaukee, and Kansas City.
The city in Oregon also has three possible stadium options. The first one is the Memorial Coliseum located at the heart of the city.
There is also a site near the Moda Center, surrounded by public schools. It is also near the Northeast Broadway. The place where Vaughn Street Park used to be is also a potential area. It is located in Northwest Portland, a few meters away from the Montgomery Park.
The city has a $150 million fund readily available when the construction gets the green light. It was reserved from a House Bill 3606 passage in 2003. It was supposed to be used for the Montreal Expos relocation in the city.
The last MLB expansion project was in 1997. The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays joined the exclusive baseball league. Rob Manfred stated that the West Coast project as an effective way to expand the league.