Major League Baseball (MLB) has been a staple of American sports for over a century. However, it's been almost 25 years since the league last expanded, with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay Rays joining in 1998. Now, there are rumblings that the MLB is considering expanding once again.
The Expansion Plan
The MLB's 2022-26 Labor Deal allows for an expansion to 32 teams. This long-anticipated public copy of the labor deal between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association was made public on May 10, 2023. Despite this provision, the likelihood of immediate expansion remains thin.
However, the MLB has signaled that it will add two new teams once the stadium situations of the A's and Rays are settled. The league is reportedly headed for Las Vegas and Nashville, where a group including retired MLB pitcher Dave Stewart is working toward an expansion team.
Potential Cities for Expansion
Several cities have been identified as potential sites for these new teams. These include Charlotte, Portland, San Antonio, Mexico City, and Salt Lake City. In April 2023, the Athletics entered into an agreement to relocate to Las Vegas, which had been seeking an MLB franchise, either through expansion or relocation of an existing team.
Charlotte, North Carolina, is another city with aspirations for a big league team. Its proximity to Atlanta would set up a natural rivalry, and North Carolina has many minor league teams that have done well over the years.