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View Full Version : The Rays do not seem long for Tampa



Tom Servo
10-06-2011, 07:20 PM
"We've replicated last year [on the field] and our attendance numbers were down 15 percent and our ratings were down. The rubber has got to meet the road at some point here. When you go through the season, you control your own destiny, if you win out. We're getting to the point where we don't control our own destiny. This is untenable as a model going forward."

http://espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs/2011/story/_/id/7059990/tampa-bay-rays


So with that I pose the question: What would you do with the Rays? For that matter how about the financially struggling Athletics? What locations, if any, could they do better in?

In my fantasy, the Rays would move to Portland where they could have a natural rivalry with the Mariners. The Athletics would move back to their home location of Philadelphia where baseball is now, of course, incredibly popular.

In reality? The A's should explore further up the California coast. Obviously they would want to play in San Jose but MLB and the Giants are seemingly doing everything to prevent that. Sacramento is a possibility, and they could always explore Portland as well (but I'd rather see them go 'home' as it were).

The Rays are trickier because Florida doesn't seem to appealing now that the Marlins are in it for the long haul. The old standby cities of Charlotte, New Orleans, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, and San Antonio are all possibilities but in my opinion (and I say this as someone who has lived right outside of Charlotte for 3 years now) San Antonio is the only one where I think fans would consistently show up. When I posed the question to my dad, a longtime resident of the New York City metropolitan area (and a former NY Giants fan), he thought Connecticut would work. I argued that most residents of the area are already either Yankees or Red Sox fans but he believes there are enough people in the area to make it work while not directly putting another team in NY.

So I've rambled on long enough, what do Redszoners think?

marcshoe
10-06-2011, 07:25 PM
Someone posted here a few weeks ago that Nashville was interested. I saw a couple of days ago that they're about to build a new AAA park, possibly on the river by the football stadium, which is where I'd guessed they'd locate a major league park. So if they plan to make a move they'd better do it quickly.

If Nashville happened, and I think it's a longshot, I would see realignment coming, putting the team in the same league as Atlanta, Cincy, and St. Louis.

My uneducated guess would have been Charlotte, but I really don't know which city would support a major league team the best.

RedsManRick
10-06-2011, 07:49 PM
It would never happen, but it would be interesting to see a team in a smaller city build a high quality 30,000 seat stadium and just focus on making an amazing, intimate fan experience. You're never going to draw 45,000 like the Yankes or Phillies, so don't try. It would be much cheaper to build and operate.

Joseph
10-06-2011, 07:54 PM
I'd love to see Nashville get one of the teams, but yes the Rays are proof that winning for a few years isn't always enough.

Redsfaithful
10-06-2011, 07:54 PM
As someone living in Columbus I'd love to have a team in Nashville or Indianapolis. One more fairly close MLB team would be great.

marcshoe
10-06-2011, 07:56 PM
I'm looking into moving to the Nashville area soon, so they'd automatically get my vote. I actually could see the city supporting a major league team. Nashvillians like to turn out, and there are always plenty of summer tourists.

traderumor
10-06-2011, 09:04 PM
Montreal?

westofyou
10-06-2011, 09:09 PM
Portland will get a team before Nashville or any other city in the middle of the country

Scrap Irony
10-06-2011, 09:21 PM
Move Oakland to Portland and put the Rays in New York. Re-name them the Bums. Put a stadium in Brooklyn.

chicoruiz
10-06-2011, 09:58 PM
New Jersey probably makes the most sense, but the Mets, Yankees, and maybe even the Phillies would raise too much of a stink.

Tom Servo
10-06-2011, 10:12 PM
New Jersey probably makes the most sense, but the Mets, Yankees, and maybe even the Phillies would raise too much of a stink.
As a former NJ resident, I just don't know that the fans would show up even before you factor in that they are all Yankees or Mets fans. There's a reason why the Nets are leaving and why the Devils were rumored for years to be leaving: We don't support our teams very well. We support OTHER cities teams well, like the Giants and Jets in East Rutherford, but our own...not so much.

mth123
10-06-2011, 10:23 PM
Portland will get a team before Nashville or any other city in the middle of the country

I agree Portland makes the most sense of anyplace. What is the stadium situation there? Is there a place to play?

westofyou
10-06-2011, 10:28 PM
I agree Portland makes the most sense of anyplace. What is the stadium situation there? Is there a place to play?

Nah, they'd find one though, but it might be a hard sell in this economy

jojo
10-06-2011, 10:47 PM
Mexico City.

BCubb2003
10-06-2011, 10:50 PM
Mexico City.

Tokyo?

There aren't too many cities that wouldn't be just another small- or mid-market team trying to out-Moneyball the big boys.

KronoRed
10-06-2011, 10:55 PM
Lets the A's have San Jose.

Rays are locked in their crap market with that lease.

IslandRed
10-06-2011, 11:02 PM
I live near Nashville, so that would be great. But I don't think the market cares about baseball, if local TV ratings for the playoffs are of any guide. The highest-rated game as of a day ago was 1.8 (!) -- down in the range with high-school football. As small as the market is, the populace would have to be rabid for it to work, and it isn't.

Really, I think the only chance baseball has in a market on the fringes is to go someplace the NFL isn't.

kaldaniels
10-06-2011, 11:04 PM
I'd love to see Nashville get one of the teams, but yes the Rays are proof that winning for a few years isn't always enough.

A very interesting true point.

Benihana
10-06-2011, 11:23 PM
Austin, TX

Chip R
10-06-2011, 11:45 PM
Here's another article that goes into a bit more detail. Apparently they have a lease through 2027.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/tampa-bay-rays-lack-of-fan-support-may-force-team-to-leave-100511

Unassisted
10-07-2011, 12:08 AM
Austin, TX
I wish that Austin would get ahead of San Antonio in that queue, because I fear that San Antonio's government is all too eager to pass whatever taxes are necessary to build another major league sports venue.

I just suspect Austin isn't as eager to do that, but the market may be more appealing to MLB, because of the success of the AAA team in Round Rock.

Captain Hook
10-07-2011, 02:58 AM
Raleigh or Charlotte, NC for TB.There might be a few Braves fans in the state but NC is pretty far from any other MLB teams.The state is surrounded by other states without a MLB franchise and Charlotte is a big enough city to support a team imo.

cumberlandreds
10-07-2011, 09:04 AM
Contract them along with another team of your choice. I still believe baseball is oversaturated.

Roy Tucker
10-07-2011, 09:15 AM
The question in my mind is why the heck doesn't the Tampa area support a baseball team like the Rays? They've proven that, on a much smaller budget, they can successfully compete with the giants of the AL East. From a smart front office to a personable and marketable manager like Joe Maddon and an interesting team.

It's exactly the kind of team you'd want for a smaller market. Is it that the Thunderdome is such a lousy fan experience? Location of the stadium? Old folks that go to the early bird special at Denny's at 4 pm and then go to bed?

But to the question, there doesn't seem to be a no-brainer city for them to move too. There isn't any city clamoring for a MLB franchise like there was in earlier years.

_Sir_Charles_
10-07-2011, 09:17 AM
Well, the NBA has done well with the move to Oklahoma City. Personally, I think that's a viable option for MLB too.

http://allstarrsports.isgreat.org/MLB-teams_map.jpg

With the rather large opening, is there any chance of a viable option between the Mariners and the Rockies? Las Vegas maybe? Salt Lake City?

IslandRed
10-07-2011, 09:50 AM
The question in my mind is why the heck doesn't the Tampa area support a baseball team like the Rays? They've proven that, on a much smaller budget, they can successfully compete with the giants of the AL East. From a smart front office to a personable and marketable manager like Joe Maddon and an interesting team.

It's exactly the kind of team you'd want for a smaller market. Is it that the Thunderdome is such a lousy fan experience? Location of the stadium? Old folks that go to the early bird special at Denny's at 4 pm and then go to bed?

But to the question, there doesn't seem to be a no-brainer city for them to move too. There isn't any city clamoring for a MLB franchise like there was in earlier years.

The location's a big part of it. It's on the wrong side of the bay, for starters, in a metro area where bridge traffic is legendary.

bucksfan2
10-07-2011, 10:22 AM
Well, the NBA has done well with the move to Oklahoma City. Personally, I think that's a viable option for MLB too.

http://allstarrsports.isgreat.org/MLB-teams_map.jpg

With the rather large opening, is there any chance of a viable option between the Mariners and the Rockies? Las Vegas maybe? Salt Lake City?

I don't know if Salt Lake City is big enough or has a large enough corporate base to support 2 pro franchises.

San Antonio also would make sense to me.

Portland makes the most sense city wise and population wise.

Las Vegas is the wild card. It could work, but there would have be some serious gambling restrictions put in place in order to make it a go. You really couldn't have casino sponsorship, couldn't bet directly on the team, and its opponents and division rivals would be tricky as well.

Redsfan320
10-07-2011, 12:43 PM
With the rather large opening, is there any chance of a viable option between the Mariners and the Rockies? Las Vegas maybe? Salt Lake City?

While there's a lot of land there, that area is a population dead-zone.

As for where I'd put them, I don't care as long as they get out of that stadium. I hate, hate, hate baseball played on turf, and Tampa and Toronto are the only teams still doing that.

320

pedro
10-07-2011, 12:55 PM
Portland would support the team too IMO. We are the largest metro area without a team and there are a LOT of baseball fans here.

PuffyPig
10-07-2011, 01:33 PM
Merge them with the Reds......

George Anderson
10-07-2011, 02:14 PM
As someone living in Columbus I'd love to have a team in Nashville or Indianapolis. One more fairly close MLB team would be great.

Scratch Indy off the list.

We are to small of a city to support 3 Pro teams.

remdog
10-07-2011, 02:16 PM
As far as Sacramento goes, I've been there for minor league ballgames and it's a terrific setting right on the river with a great atmosphere and relatively new. For years (although I didn't check this years' numbers) they have led minor league baseball in attendance.

I don't know if they could expand the the stadium enough to make it suitable for a MLB team but, if they could, it might be viable.

The A's had a deal lined up with Fremont, CA (read San Jose area) but, for various reasons, the Giants and/or MLB keeps blocking it.

Rem

pedro
10-07-2011, 02:37 PM
As far as Sacramento goes, I've been there for minor league ballgames and it's a terrific setting right on the river with a great atmosphere and relatively new. For years (although I didn't check this years' numbers) they have led minor league baseball in attendance.

I don't know if they could expand the the stadium enough to make it suitable for a MLB team but, if they could, it might be viable.

The A's had a deal lined up with Fremont, CA (read San Jose area) but, for various reasons, the Giants and/or MLB keeps blocking it.

Rem

I've heard that park in Sacramento is really nice and they seem to outdraw the A's most nights...

remdog
10-07-2011, 03:15 PM
I've heard that park in Sacramento is really nice and they seem to outdraw the A's most nights...

Yep. Every time I've been there it's been packed. It has really nice site lines and a nice view of DT Sacramento.

Of course, oddly enough in this conversation, it's also the A's AAA team. (shrug). I'm not sure where that plays in.

Rem

reds1869
10-07-2011, 03:38 PM
Sacramento is a beautiful city that doesn't get nearly enough love. It also does a wonderful job of supporting its AAA team.

westofyou
10-07-2011, 03:45 PM
Sacramento is a beautiful city that doesn't get nearly enough love. It also does a wonderful job of supporting its AAA team.

It's also a commuter city in a swath of the USA that is awash with foreclosures and expensive gas

I also see the bay area teams perhaps bonding for once in blocking any sort of move that would steal what fans that still traverse west to catch a MLB game.

UKFlounder
10-07-2011, 03:46 PM
But isn't Sacremento having trouble trying to keep the Kings? Would it be able to add a major league stadium right now? (I'm not familiar with the AAA stadium, so maybe that could be expanded somehow)

reds1869
10-07-2011, 03:47 PM
It's also a commuter city in a swath of the USA that is awash with foreclosures and expensive gas

I also see the bay area teams perhaps bonding for once in blocking any sort of move that would steal what fans that still traverse west to catch a MLB game.

I agree on both counts. Sacramento is in bad economic shape and the bay area teams don't want anyone stealing potential fans. i still love Sacramento, though. Or at least I did ten years ago.

bucksfan2
10-07-2011, 03:52 PM
Sacramento is a beautiful city that doesn't get nearly enough love. It also does a wonderful job of supporting its AAA team.

Dayton does one heck of a job supporting their low A team. I don't see Sacramento as a legit option.

reds1869
10-07-2011, 03:55 PM
Dayton does one heck of a job supporting their low A team. I don't see Sacramento as a legit option.

I don't really see Sacramento getting a team either, but comparing a metro area roughly the size of Cincinnati to Dayton?

Edit: Sacramento pulls in around 10K per night, by the way.

Dom Heffner
10-07-2011, 04:02 PM
The question in my mind is why the heck doesn't the Tampa area support a baseball team like the Rays? They've proven that, on a much smaller budget, they can successfully compete with the giants of the AL East. From a smart front office to a personable and marketable manager like Joe Maddon and an interesting team.

It's exactly the kind of team you'd want for a smaller market. Is it that the Thunderdome is such a lousy fan experience? Location of the stadium? Old folks that go to the early bird special at Denny's at 4 pm and then go to bed?

But to the question, there doesn't seem to be a no-brainer city for them to move too. There isn't any city clamoring for a MLB franchise like there was in earlier years.

As someone who lives here, I can tell you it's just too long of a drive for most people. I live north of Tampa, which may as well be Cincinnati to Lexington on some nights with traffic. To get there from most places, you have to drive through Tampa at rush hour, and then over the bay to St Pete, and then some more.

The experience at the Trop is fine- it is just a pain in the tail to get there for most of us.

St Petersburg isn't Tampa...

Edd Roush
10-07-2011, 04:03 PM
I agree on both counts. Sacramento is in bad economic shape and the bay area teams don't want anyone stealing potential fans. i still love Sacramento, though. Or at least I did ten years ago.

It's still a beautiful city. I was blown away by how undersold the city is compared to San Francisco.

marcshoe
10-07-2011, 04:05 PM
iirc, when the Reds AAA was briefly in Denver in the eighties they couldn't pull any fans, yet when the Rockies opened a short while later, they sold out regularly. I'm not sure how much of a correlation there is between the two, particularly since minor league teams tend to draw based on the fan experience rather than the product on the field, which was recently pointed out on the minor league forum (and has long been true).

Incidentally, in 1985 I saw Denver, featuring Paul O'Neill, Kal Daniels, and others, play in OKC, which drew well as a Rangers' team. The starting pitcher for OKC was a guy named Chris Welsh. but I digress....

Dan
10-07-2011, 04:37 PM
I guess the Rays are pretty much staying put because of the lease. But if they were to move, what about a move up to the Hampton Roads area of Virginia? Something like 7 million people that could support a team.

reds1869
10-07-2011, 04:40 PM
I guess the Rays are pretty much staying put because of the lease. But if they were to move, what about a move up to the Hampton Roads area of Virginia? Something like 7 million people that could support a team.

DC and Baltimore would fight that move like crazy. I know it isn't the same area but those teams would see it as their market.

Reds/Flyers Fan
10-07-2011, 04:41 PM
Pittsburgh could use a team.

What about just moving the Rays across the bay into Tampa? There is land downtown near the Lightning's arena and it's a lot easier to get to than St. Pete. That might be the Rays' only realistic salvation.

MLB doesn't need anymore markets that can't/won't support a team.

Dan
10-07-2011, 04:59 PM
DC and Baltimore would fight that move like crazy. I know it isn't the same area but those teams would see it as their market.

I right near DC and they don't pull from Hampton Roads at all. On a good day it's a 4 hour drive to DC and a 5+ hour drive to Baltimore.

KronoRed
10-07-2011, 05:27 PM
MLB teams need BIG markets close to the stadium to support the team, it isn't like Basketball or Hockey where a sell out in 17000 people 41 times a year, it needs to be 25 to 30k in the house 81 times.

Other then jamming a team in New York, I think those markets are exhausted.

remdog
10-07-2011, 06:15 PM
Just did a little research: Sacramento in 2010 drew 657,910. (Couldn't find 2011.) They had 8 sellouts of over 14000 and since their first year (2000) they have led the minor leagues in attendance 9 times. Their top attendance was 901,204.

Their park, Raley Field, seats 14,000 with seating on the grass in right and left field. If they wanted to build it out with seats and a 2nd tier they could probably get the capacity into the 35,000 area (just thinking out loud there, don't really know for sure).

Supposedly, Sacramento is the largest TV market without a MLB team.

Personally, I never even considered going to Sacramento the first 20 years I lived in California. Then we started doing events there and I found myself there 6-8 times a year. I have to say that I really liked it---it became one of the places I looked forward to going. It remined me a lot of a cross between Cincinnati and Columbus. The river(s) with riverboat dining, a nice DT area with good restaurants, big old, stately mansions and a lot elm and oak tress. Of course, like Columbus, it's the state capitol and it does have a state university there, which, though pretty nice is not nearly as big as OSU. To me, it's actually a very nice city. It does get a bit frosty in mid-winter (though I never encountered snow there) and mid-summer it can be very warm and humid. (The Sacramento area is, possibly, the largest rice producing area in the US and those fields are flooded all summer which just brings in the humidity.)


Rem

oregonred
10-08-2011, 12:38 PM
One market stands out above all others - San Antonio (#25)/Austin (#35). I'd slam the stadium down in downtown Austin and count the money. Both regions are growing like mad and Texas is a get it done state for business/stadiums. The market is wide open beyond the Spurs. Texas needs a third team.

As for the Rays, the stadium is completely in the wrong location walling off the Orlando market and much of the Tampa market out in the west suburbs off of I-75. The bridge traffic is a major factor, going once to a Bucs game on a weeknight from St Pete/Sarasota took over an hour to go about 10 miles. Still there is no excuse for 28K for game 4 and for the fact they can't really even draw on weekends when traffic is a non-issue and to experience the heavenly feel of Florida A/C.

The Marlins have walled themselves off from Northern Broward and Palm Beach County with its new stadium in Little Havana. I expect Sat/Sunday to do well, but they are going to struggle mightily on weeknights past year one. I would never consider going to an outdoor daytime game in Florida from May-early October.

I'd put Charlotte ahead of Portland by sheer population of the region within 100 miles (Greensboro, Winston Salem, Columbia SC and The Triangle). Eugene (barely over a 300K population region) would be the biggest city within 150 miles of Portland/Salem if that gives you an idea how few people actually live in Oregon/Washington outside of metro Seattle and Portland.

savafan
10-08-2011, 01:24 PM
What about Montreal? :)

KronoRed
10-08-2011, 08:37 PM
What about Montreal? :)

Dark side of the moon.

Put the Rays and Blue Jays in Tokyo.:D

Redhook
10-08-2011, 10:37 PM
Mexico City.

No way, no how. Mexico City is a dangerous hellhole. It's a big city with tons of people, but for safety reasons the Major Leagues won't put team there. I've been there and I will never go back.

cincinnati chili
10-08-2011, 11:21 PM
I've long loved the Tokyo idea, and it would work if done right. Basically, the team would play a month at home and then a month on the road. The visiting teams would play a 7-game series in Tokyo rather than the typical 3 or 4 game series to cut down on travel.

This would work best if MLB realigned so that all of the Eastern time zone teams and maybe a handful of central time zone teams were in one league.

It would sock the Japanese Leagues in the balls in the same ways that integration of MLB slowly killed the Negro Leagues. But it would also be better baseball at MLB. Too many of the world's best players are not playing in MLB. If I'm the commissioner of MLB, this is the golden ticket to turning my game from big to huge.

CaiGuy
10-08-2011, 11:59 PM
San Juan

marcshoe
10-09-2011, 01:52 AM
I've long loved the Tokyo idea, and it would work if done right. Basically, the team would play a month at home and then a month on the road. The visiting teams would play a 7-game series in Tokyo rather than the typical 3 or 4 game series to cut down on travel.

This would work best if MLB realigned so that all of the Eastern time zone teams and maybe a handful of central time zone teams were in one league.

It would sock the Japanese Leagues in the balls in the same ways that integration of MLB slowly killed the Negro Leagues. But it would also be better baseball at MLB. Too many of the world's best players are not playing in MLB. If I'm the commissioner of MLB, this is the golden ticket to turning my game from big to huge.

Have they found a cure for jet lag?

mth123
10-09-2011, 02:40 AM
I think places accross the ocean are just too far away to be realistic. I also think cities in 3rd world countries like Mexico City and San Juan aren't really realistic either. If places like Miami and Tampa are having trouble supporting a team, I just don't see places ike San Juan having enough fans and corporate sponsorship to be viable at major league prices.

I stil think Portland makes sense geographically and has a large population, though concerns about outlying areas being sparse are valid and a place has to have a stadium to be realistic. Charlotte is a good idea too, but Ideally the league needs more teams farther west. I wonder if Oklahoma City would be viable.

Tom Servo
10-09-2011, 03:33 AM
I think places accross the ocean are just too far away to be realistic. I also think cities in 3rd world countries like Mexico City and San Juan aren't really realistic either. If places like Miami and Tampa are having trouble supporting a team, I just don't see places ike San Juan having enough fans and corporate sponsorship to be viable at major league prices.

Puerto Rico isn't third world, and it's not a country.

mth123
10-09-2011, 04:57 AM
Puerto Rico isn't third world, and it's not a country.

Lets not quibble on semantics. The average per capita GDP in the US was 47,400 in 2010 while in Puerto Rico it was just 16,300. I just don't see how they could have enough people who could afford to go to a ball game at prices that would compete with other major league franchises.

Mexico City is even lower with a nominal GDP Per Capita of $9,243.

These cities have a lot of pople, but they just don't seem viable economically unless there is lots of corporate presence to buy up the seats at major league prices. Taking a family to a ball game is expensive for the rich US economy, think how it would be in a place where the average person makes a third or a fourth of the income.

Reds/Flyers Fan
10-09-2011, 11:34 AM
No way, no how. Mexico City is a dangerous hellhole. It's a big city with tons of people, but for safety reasons the Major Leagues won't put team there. I've been there and I will never go back.

As opposed to some of the current MLB paradise settings like the south side of Chicago, downtown Detroit and the Bronx? Not to mention Los Angeles and Oakland where, if you're a visiting fan and you make it back to your car unscathed, you're lucky.

Mexico City has its issues, but it's not Juarez or any of those northern Mexico border towns overrun by drug lords. It's a major international city with world-class hotels, museums, restaurants and neighborhoods. I've been there once and I would love to revisit one day. My problem with it as it relates to MLB is it's just too far from the U.S. and any other franchise. The road trips would make Seattle seem like it's in Jersey. With at least a 2.5 hour flight to the nearest MLB market (Houston? Miami?), trips would be brutal.

What player would want to play there or sign there? I would imagine that 90 percent of players would include Mexico City in their no-trade clauses. And I can't imagine too many non-Mexican players would want to live in Mexico.

oneupper
10-09-2011, 11:47 AM
San Juan

I'd love that, but even the winter league in Puerto Rico folded for lack of support. Our old friend Javy Valentin lost some money trying to revive it.

If you're going Caribbean and international, Santo Domingo would be your best place at this point. It's actually closer than Puerto Rico.
Great fan base, lots of tradition. (PEDs available).
They'd need a stadium.

Caracas is larger, but Venezuela is really messed up politically. There isn't a MLB-class park there either.

The Dominican republic is closer to most US destinations also (by a bit).

cincinnati chili
10-09-2011, 12:25 PM
Have they found a cure for jet lag?

Jet leg is not a major issue if you employ the plan I mentioned above. Visiting teams make one trip there per year for a 7-game series; the Tokyo based team spends one month at home, one month on the road. It's a 9-10 hour flight from LA.

The biggest problem with the Tokyo plan is actually how the time change affects TV ratings; the players will be fine. World class North American athletes break world records overseas all the time.

Chip R
10-09-2011, 12:56 PM
Jet leg is not a major issue if you employ the plan I mentioned above. Visiting teams make one trip there per year for a 7-game series; the Tokyo based team spends one month at home, one month on the road. It's a 9-10 hour flight from LA.

The biggest problem with the Tokyo plan is actually how the time change affects TV ratings; the players will be fine. World class North American athletes break world records overseas all the time.

So what do you do if the Japanese team makes the post-season when you only have one day off to change cities?

westofyou
10-09-2011, 12:58 PM
So what do you do if the Japanese team makes the post-season when you only have one day off to change cities?

Wonkavator, or wormhole

marcshoe
10-09-2011, 03:57 PM
Jet leg is not a major issue if you employ the plan I mentioned above. Visiting teams make one trip there per year for a 7-game series; the Tokyo based team spends one month at home, one month on the road. It's a 9-10 hour flight from LA.

The biggest problem with the Tokyo plan is actually how the time change affects TV ratings; the players will be fine. World class North American athletes break world records overseas all the time.

Do they give them enough time when they first arrive in Tokyo to get over their jet lag, then? Otherwise, it's still an issue for the first games they play.

I don't know what the schedule is for individual athletic events, but I do know that when I lived in Australia, several smaller tennis matches were held in the country in the weeks prior to the Australian Open (I attended one of the women's tournaments.) I always assumed this was done so the athletes would have time to adjust. I really can't see how the time change for an everyday sport such as baseball wouldn't be a problem, even though I realize that an athlete would adjust much more quickly than someone like me.

I do know that Americans who came over for single-week vacations usually regretted not allotting more time because their bodies kept them from taking advantage of their vacation. I would really worry about a competitive disadvantage for visiting teams in a place like Tokyo.

mth123
10-09-2011, 04:28 PM
Do they give them enough time when they first arrive in Tokyo to get over their jet lag, then? Otherwise, it's still an issue for the first games they play.

I don't know what the schedule is for individual athletic events, but I do know that when I lived in Australia, several smaller tennis matches were held in the country in the weeks prior to the Australian Open (I attended one of the women's tournaments.) I always assumed this was done so the athletes would have time to adjust. I really can't see how the time change for an everyday sport such as baseball wouldn't be a problem, even though I realize that an athlete would adjust much more quickly than someone like me.

I do know that Americans who came over for single-week vacations usually regretted not allotting more time because their bodies kept them from taking advantage of their vacation. I would really worry about a competitive disadvantage for visiting teams in a place like Tokyo.

Not to mention a plan that has the home team on the road for three separate one month stints mixed with month stints calling a completely foreign country and culture "home" is going to be a hard sell to the players. Even if the union goes for it, individual players with any type of power to make a choice will probably opt to go elsewhere and I'd guess many wives and families will insist on passing any offer received from a team based in Tokyo. I think teams in dirt poor places like Mexico City or across the ocean a day's flight away would be destined to become the problem franchises of the future because they'll be at a competitive disadvantage for talent just like today's Pirates and Royals are.

cincinnati chili
10-10-2011, 01:23 AM
I agree that you couldn't force the current roster of the Tampa Bay Rays to move to Japan. The Japan idea works better for an expansion team than for an existing franchise changing cities. And I strongly favor expansion. I think that if the players union was offered 80 new jobs on 40-man rosters (i.e. 2 expansion teams), they'd go for it.

Chip, you are correct that if they make the postseason, you'd need an extra travel day. Maybe MLB could just buy one of the Concord jets that are sitting around collecting dust.

Brutus
10-10-2011, 03:13 AM
chili, have you by chance ever gazed at the CBA?

I won't say your idea couldn't work, but if you've seen the CBA, I think you'll probably agree with me there's no way in h-e-double-hockey-sticks the players union would go for such a plan. There are already so many stipulations about when games can be scheduled, what time, and based on how many travel days are necessary, there's no way all the requisites that would need be implemented to make such a plan work would ever be agreed to by the player's union.

TRF
10-10-2011, 12:33 PM
chili, have you by chance ever gazed at the CBA?

I won't say your idea couldn't work, but if you've seen the CBA, I think you'll probably agree with me there's no way in h-e-double-hockey-sticks the players union would go for such a plan. There are already so many stipulations about when games can be scheduled, what time, and based on how many travel days are necessary, there's no way all the requisites that would need be implemented to make such a plan work would ever be agreed to by the player's union.

until they do.

The time isn't now. The technology isn't there yet, but when trans pacific flights shorten to two hours, the game will be global. http://www.spacekb.com/Uwe/Forum.aspx/space-history/5527/SpaceShip-Two-Prelude-To-Trans-Pacific-Business-Class

So it isn't impossible to see this in 20 years, but not in the next 5.

And I think people in OKC see the Thunder as the beginning. There will be another pro franchise there, and baseball makes the most sense. Natural rivalry with Texas, possibly KC and STL depending on league. OKC is pretty big, Tulsa is about 100 miles away, Amarillo 4 hours away, 2 major universities close by. That's a decent fanbase.

Brutus
10-10-2011, 03:16 PM
until they do.

The time isn't now. The technology isn't there yet, but when trans pacific flights shorten to two hours, the game will be global. http://www.spacekb.com/Uwe/Forum.aspx/space-history/5527/SpaceShip-Two-Prelude-To-Trans-Pacific-Business-Class

So it isn't impossible to see this in 20 years, but not in the next 5.

And I think people in OKC see the Thunder as the beginning. There will be another pro franchise there, and baseball makes the most sense. Natural rivalry with Texas, possibly KC and STL depending on league. OKC is pretty big, Tulsa is about 100 miles away, Amarillo 4 hours away, 2 major universities close by. That's a decent fanbase.

I suppose I just assumed anyone would take my usage of the word "never" as a commentary on the landscape as we know it today. It's impossible to predict what things will be like in 20 years, but as they sit in current terms, the player's union would never go for such a plan. If/when technology changes or it becomes more practical to travel overseas consistently, then sure, there's a much greater chance of such a plan coming to fruition. Until then, though, there's no way they'd go for it.

Rojo
10-10-2011, 04:09 PM
Put me down for Connecticut. I said years ago that they needed to move two of the weaker sisters to DC and CT. Those metro areas were under represented, believe it or not, and needed some competition.

One of the moves happened -- Expos to DC. The effect was to make Baltimore much less of a free agent player than it used to be. Before the Nationals, the Orioles were as bad as the Sox and Yanks at driving up salaries.

Moving a team to CT will cut into the Yankee, Redsox and Mets fanbase, cutting into how much money they can spend to drive up salaries.

This would be a more effective method than a lot of tinkering with taxes and caps.

Brutus
10-10-2011, 04:41 PM
Put me down for Connecticut. I said years ago that they needed to move two of the weaker sisters to DC and CT. Those metro areas were under represented, believe it or not, and needed some competition.

One of the moves happened -- Expos to DC. The effect was to make Baltimore much less of a free agent player than it used to be. Before the Nationals, the Orioles were as bad as the Sox and Yanks at driving up salaries.

Moving a team to CT will cut into the Yankee, Redsox and Mets fanbase, cutting into how much money they can spend to drive up salaries.

This would be a more effective method than a lot of tinkering with taxes and caps.

I do kind of like this idea. It would have to be placed in Hartford, as Fairfield County is included in the Yankees/Mets protected territories, but Hartford makes the most sense anyhow.

Hartford is 30th in DMA rank with 1 million TV homes according to the latest Nielsen estimates. That's bigger than three MLB market areas (Kansas City, Milwaukee and Cincinnati) and also bigger than some other possible locales (such as San Antonio and Las Vegas). Personally, I've always favored Charlotte for the Rays if they were to move, but Jerry Reinsdorf would make this difficult as he'd be reluctant for a Major League team to move in on his self-proclaimed area.

The other thing that bodes well for the future, when discussing salary caps, is that as MLB TV grows and the associated properties owned by Major League Baseball, the disparity in revenues will decrease. Since revenues from MLB's Central Fund are split equally, the dependence on local revenue will decrease as MLB TV gains a better foothold on the market.

Chip R
10-10-2011, 11:55 PM
I do kind of like this idea. It would have to be placed in Hartford, as Fairfield County is included in the Yankees/Mets protected territories, but Hartford makes the most sense anyhow.

Hartford is 30th in DMA rank with 1 million TV homes according to the latest Nielsen estimates. That's bigger than three MLB market areas (Kansas City, Milwaukee and Cincinnati) and also bigger than some other possible locales (such as San Antonio and Las Vegas). Personally, I've always favored Charlotte for the Rays if they were to move, but Jerry Reinsdorf would make this difficult as he'd be reluctant for a Major League team to move in on his self-proclaimed area.

The problem I would see with Hartford is that it is right between New York and Boston. So there are going to be a lot of Yankees/Mets/Sox fans there. I'm guessing that those fans aren't very likely to change their allegiance - especially to a team that is going to be in the same division as the Yankees and the Sox. This wouldn't be like when the Dodgers and Giants left Brooklyn and Manhattan when there was a vacuum. Perhaps Hartford could be all right if their ticket prices were significantly lower than BOS or NY.


The other thing that bodes well for the future, when discussing salary caps, is that as MLB TV grows and the associated properties owned by Major League Baseball, the disparity in revenues will decrease. Since revenues from MLB's Central Fund are split equally, the dependence on local revenue will decrease as MLB TV gains a better foothold on the market.

That's a great point. Hopefully this will happen sooner rather than later.

Brutus
10-11-2011, 03:06 AM
The problem I would see with Hartford is that it is right between New York and Boston. So there are going to be a lot of Yankees/Mets/Sox fans there. I'm guessing that those fans aren't very likely to change their allegiance - especially to a team that is going to be in the same division as the Yankees and the Sox. This wouldn't be like when the Dodgers and Giants left Brooklyn and Manhattan when there was a vacuum. Perhaps Hartford could be all right if their ticket prices were significantly lower than BOS or NY.



That's a great point. Hopefully this will happen sooner rather than later.

It's definitely smack-dab in the middle of those fanbases, no question. I don't think it would be an instant success, but as kids were exposed to the team over the next 5-10 years, I believe it would be a big enough market to slowly grow into having their own support to make them a viable success.

As great as it would be to see, I do suspect the Yankees & Red Sox would doth protest too much to see it happen, even though they technically wouldn't have legal standing per the MLB Constitution.

CaiGuy
10-11-2011, 01:41 PM
The problem I would see with Hartford is that it is right between New York and Boston. So there are going to be a lot of Yankees/Mets/Sox fans there. I'm guessing that those fans aren't very likely to change their allegiance - especially to a team that is going to be in the same division as the Yankees and the Sox. This wouldn't be like when the Dodgers and Giants left Brooklyn and Manhattan when there was a vacuum. Perhaps Hartford could be all right if their ticket prices were significantly lower than BOS or NY.



That's a great point. Hopefully this will happen sooner rather than later.

It could accually work from that angle. Being in the east, it would give Boston and NYY fans a cheaper alternative to catch there teams. So attendance might be pretty good.

Rojo
10-11-2011, 02:44 PM
The problem I would see with Hartford is that it is right between New York and Boston.

That's the whole point.

Look at the population density in CT:

http://www.mapofusa.net/us-population-map.gif

It's 3rd behind Delaware and Alaska in GDP-per-capita.

There's people with money. Give it ten years, it will certainly work better than Tampa.

Chip R
10-11-2011, 03:56 PM
That's the whole point.

Look at the population density in CT:

http://www.mapofusa.net/us-population-map.gif

It's 3rd behind Delaware and Alaska in GDP-per-capita.

There's people with money. Give it ten years, it will certainly work better than Tampa.

But do you really think those Red Sox/Yankees/Mets fans are going to switch loyalties just because there is a team in their backyard?

Rojo
10-11-2011, 04:45 PM
But do you really think those Red Sox/Yankees/Mets fans are going to switch loyalties just because there is a team in their backyard?

Well the Mets started with no fans. I think people will go to ball games in their backyard and watch games on the TV. I'm a sorta, kinda Giants fan. But I wasn't when I moved to SF.

Chip R
10-11-2011, 05:05 PM
Well the Mets started with no fans. I think people will go to ball games in their backyard and watch games on the TV. I'm a sorta, kinda Giants fan. But I wasn't when I moved to SF.

But, as I said before, when the Mets started they had Dodger and Giants fans all ready and waiting for a new team. The National League had no presence in the largest city in the country for four years. There were a huge amount of spurned Giants and Dodgers fans that would never root for the Yankees. Branch Rickey tried to get the Continental League started to get another major league team in New York.

I don't hear a cry from Connecticutians about a major league baseball team. They seem happy with the three teams in the New York/New England area. Theoritically speaking, they could put a team there but it just seems redundant.

mdccclxix
10-11-2011, 05:08 PM
What about Buffalo? New Orleans?

westofyou
10-11-2011, 05:24 PM
What about Buffalo? New Orleans?

Buffalo was in the running in 1969 Bill DeWitt was their representative, but that ship has sailed, and Nola probably doesn't have the backing cash wise at this juncture.

Portland is a better spot than those two, that or Charlotte, and it (PDX) has more folks in their metro area than Tulsa and OKC combined

Rojo
10-11-2011, 06:25 PM
Theoritically speaking, they could put a team there but it just seems redundant.

You're still missing my point -- putting a team in CT would even the playing field by cutting into the RedSox/Yankee/Mets fanbase. THAT'S the idea.

Any new team will start with zero fans. That doesn't stop people from going to ball games, especially in a part of the country thats chock full of people who have money and love baseball. Within a generation you'll have die-hards.

mdccclxix
10-11-2011, 06:59 PM
Buffalo was in the running in 1969 Bill DeWitt was their representative, but that ship has sailed, and Nola probably doesn't have the backing cash wise at this juncture.

Portland is a better spot than those two, that or Charlotte, and it (PDX) has more folks in their metro area than Tulsa and OKC combined

I'd love it if Portland ended up with the Rays. I know Seattle feels pretty darn lonely up there and thirst for meaningful rivalries where they can find it.

klw
10-11-2011, 07:04 PM
I always liked the idea when the Expos moved of their going to Boston and playing in Fenway with the Sox getting a new stadium built. This was back when the Sox were throwing around leaving Fenway for a new park. I think Tampa was then going to get moved to Orlando and the Marlins to DC. Something like that- its been a while.

Chip R
10-12-2011, 12:38 AM
You're still missing my point -- putting a team in CT would even the playing field by cutting into the RedSox/Yankee/Mets fanbase. THAT'S the idea.


No kidding. In theory you have a point. But in practice it probably isn't going to accomplish the goal.

Just like they thought that putting teams in Florida would be a great success in theory; in practice, both teams struggle to draw.

REDREAD
10-12-2011, 10:58 AM
Mexico City is even lower with a nominal GDP Per Capita of $9,243.

These cities have a lot of pople, but they just don't seem viable economically unless there is lots of corporate presence to buy up the seats at major league prices. .

I agree. A friend of mine runs a manufacturing plant in Mexico. The workers there make about $12/day. It's common to have an extended family of 9-10 people living in a one or two room tiny house (about 300-400 square feet).
A lot of these people are struggling to survive. They can't afford to support a ML team.

cincinnati chili
10-13-2011, 11:16 AM
I actually like rojo's idea of a third team eating into the nuc teams. But I would say start the movement in 5 or 10 years (in a good economy) and put the team in Manhattan. As long as baseball has an antitrust exemption, I'm not sure you could do this without litigation.

I wouldn't be surprised if Montreal got another team in my lifetime.

cincinnati chili
10-13-2011, 11:31 AM
Btw, my reason for Manhattan over Connecticut. People in western Mass, east new York and nj do not identify with Connecticut. It's a loathsome place that out of staters only visit in order to go gambling. See Hartford whalers. The team will have passionate in state fans but it won't be enough. By contrast, people in nyc (which alone at numerous) plus others in neighboring states and tourists will go to games in Manhattan

Chip R
10-13-2011, 11:39 AM
I wouldn't be surprised if Montreal got another team in my lifetime.

How long do you plan on living? ;)

Roy Tucker
10-13-2011, 02:28 PM
Manhattan is an intriguing place, but where the heck are you going to build a stadium and put parking? And how much is that land going to cost and the construction costs? And how are you going to move 30-50k fans per game in and out of Manhattan without getting them stuck in multi-hour traffic jams?

Although, like we say at work, with time and money, we can overcome most anything.

Brutus
10-13-2011, 07:01 PM
I actually like rojo's idea of a third team eating into the nuc teams. But I would say start the movement in 5 or 10 years (in a good economy) and put the team in Manhattan. As long as baseball has an antitrust exemption, I'm not sure you could do this without litigation.

I wouldn't be surprised if Montreal got another team in my lifetime.

Both the Mets and Yankees could stop this from happening contractually according to the MLB Constitution. Each team has protected territories that Major League Baseball cannot expand into, and the five boroughs and their bordering counties are all protected, as well as Fairfield County in Connecticut; Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Union counties in New Jersey.

I suppose it could be litigated, if necessary, but MLB is pretty protective of its defined territories so it would likely be a non-starter.

Tom Servo
10-13-2011, 07:03 PM
As Brutus said, the Yankees and Mets would definitely not allow Manhattan. And really even if they did I doubt a stadium would actually be built for a new team considering neither the Giants or Jets and the massive revenue they would bring in was enough to sway Manhattan officials into going for the idea.

savafan
10-14-2011, 08:16 PM
I'm curious, have there been any studies on how long it takes to build a fan base after a city has been awarded an expansion team? How is attendance for the Rockies and D-Backs? How long did it take for teams to build up strong attendance in cities like San Diego, Toronto, Arlington and Montreal?

savafan
10-14-2011, 08:28 PM
Something else to consider is that the team was terrible for 10 years and played in a crappy stadium. They've now been pretty good for four years, but the luster likely wore off for the initial fans due to those ten bad years. It's also a city full of people who have relocated to the south. However, if the team continues to win, the kids of today will probably build an attachment to the Rays, and then they'll have kids who will be introduced, and eventually, you have a fan base. The question is, how long can the team operate under this economic climate while waiting for that fan base?

cincinnati chili
10-15-2011, 11:49 AM
As Brutus said, the Yankees and Mets would definitely not allow Manhattan. And really even if they did I doubt a stadium would actually be built for a new team considering neither the Giants or Jets and the massive revenue they would bring in was enough to sway Manhattan officials into going for the idea.

The only reason that the Yankees and Mets have a basis for objecting is because, due three poorly reasoned U.S. Supreme Court decisions that are 30-100 years old, baseball has an antitrust exemption that virtually no other business in the country has. As I said in my post, it would take litigation. The smart money would be on the Mets and Yankees losing.

I agree with your point about the stadium. It would be tough and it would have to happen in a better economy. 5-10 years from now, maybe. If not Manhattan, then one of the other boroughs. Maybe even the Meadowlands area (snoooze). But Connecticut would be a disaster. I lived in a small town in Western Mass an hour from Hartford for 4 years. Hartford nightlife is so lame that people would routinely drive up to Northampton (a place with less than 30,000) people to go to dinner.

vaticanplum
10-15-2011, 03:18 PM
I'm actually for a third team in the New York area as well. Not Manhattan though -- too crammed in. Connecticut has not much else, as chili said. I think they should stick a team in Jersey, and if they went just slightly south, they could probably avoid the bordering-county rule while still drawing from the heavy population of both Jersey and NYC. It would take a several years for this to happen, obviously, and by that time the Philly pitching staff will all be in wheelchairs, so they can draw from there too. That is a hugely sports-mad population there across those three states.

I'm all for expansion where the market is heaviest, and that metropolitan area can support a third team. The sticky part comes with the media contracts, but media is expanding fast too, so I do think it's doable.

gilpdawg
10-17-2011, 09:58 AM
One thing to consider: If the NBA winds up destroying their league, there could be some dollars out there for MLB to swoop in and take, especially in some of those cities where the NBA is the only game in town, like OKC or Portland. I've always wondered about Indy, myself. I know there was talk in the 80s of an expansion team. They even printed up t-shirts and stuff. If the NBA goes south, or the Pacers get contracted or something, they could support a second major franchise to go with the Colts, but that's a longshot. Like the article says, they probably couldn't support three major franchises.

Here's the article about Indy Baseball.

http://www.ssur.org/articles/items/20050708_IndianapolisArrows.htm


No Runs, No Hits, No Arrows
20 years ago, Indy swung for majors
By Michael Pointer
Indianapolis Arrows
Major player: Art Angotti stands in front of Indianapolis Arrows jerseys. He was part of a group that tried to land a major league team for the city in 1985. -- Matt Detrich / The Star

Twenty years ago this summer, Indianapolis was standing up and beating its chest.

The former "Naptown" was getting glowing national reviews. "Cinderella of the Rust Belt," Newsweek called it.

Downtown's rebirth was hitting full stride. The Indianapolis Colts had just finished their first season at the Hoosier Dome, the facility that jump-started the city's convention business.

Conventioneers walking down Meridian or Washington streets might even have seen a T-shirt or two touting the Indianapolis Arrows -- the name of a proposed Major League Baseball team the city hoped to lure.

"There was a lot of attention on Indianapolis," said Art Angotti, who headed a group of local investors that wanted to purchase an existing or expansion team. "All the infrastructure efforts were putting Indianapolis on television and on the sports map."

Angotti paused. He has remained a successful businessman and venture capitalist in the years since. He heads Artistic Media Partners, which owns 14 radio stations in Indiana.

Yet he can't help but feel a little wistful about a time in the city's sports history that has been largely forgotten.

"I haven't talked about the Arrows in a long time," Angotti, now 60, said, leaning forward in his Northeastside office chair.

February of 1985 brought the name.

Officials from Indianapolis Baseball, Inc. -- a group of local investors put together by Angotti and business leader and philanthropist Thomas Binford -- held a news conference to announce the new major league team would be called the Arrows.

There was no new team, of course. But there were hopes. A group that included Fred Simon, whose brothers own the Pacers, had reportedly made an offer to buy the Minnesota Twins and move them to Indy the year before, and teams in Pittsburgh and Oakland were also for sale. Plus, new commissioner Peter Ueberroth was hinting baseball would soon expand.

To lure one of these teams, the pieces had to be in place. The movement to bring a team to Indy had started three years earlier by a group put together by Mayor William C. Hudnut, but now it was taking on real legs.

Indianapolis Baseball, Inc., member Dave Elmore said the group wanted to finalize a lease with the city by the end of that month, preferably at the Hoosier Dome. Angotti said it had reached an agreement with WTTV-4 to televise Arrows games.

A list of 11 minority investors was released in June. Angotti said he was able to raise $50 million.

The group announced it had accepted approximately 12,000 deposits for season tickets at $50 apiece. Chicago Cubs announcer Harry Caray was the featured speaker at a rally on Monument Circle in July.

"I'll do everything in my power to help get a franchise because I believe this city is where a major league team could really succeed," Caray said.

Caray may have believed that more than city officials.

Problem: stadium

Insiders concede the effort had little chance to succeed. They knew it from the beginning.

"I think we thought it was an uphill battle," said longtime Indianapolis business executive David Frick, a former deputy mayor and the city's lead negotiator in talks to bring the Colts from Baltimore.

The primary problem was the stadium. In hindsight, Angotti agrees that estimates it would cost only $7 million to make the Hoosier Dome baseball-ready were wildly optimistic.

A baseball old-timers game there in August 1984 featured a right field fence only 182 feet from the plate. Angotti remembers Dome officials wincing when balls went into the stands, fearful they would crack the glass on the new suites.

He said the Chicago White Sox inquired about playing an exhibition game in the Dome, but workers couldn't install sliding pits. Just beneath the concrete floor were a myriad of electrical wires installed for convention use, he said.

Hudnut later said he opposed any conversions to make the Dome baseball-ready because it might cut into its convention business. A proposed stadium in Plainfield at the I-70 and Ind. 267 interchange never gained momentum.

Angotti's group looked into buying the Pittsburgh Pirates, but Hudnut told them to stop when Pittsburgh officials threatened legal action should the team be moved.

"Reality set in," Angotti said. "I just noticed a real change in the attitude of the mayor (after the Dome conversions were ruled out)."

Hudnut also wasn't prepared to press for another sports facility after spending so much political capital getting the Hoosier Dome built.

"That would have been a very hard sell," Frick said.

Danny Danielson, chairman of the Indianapolis baseball committee, remains convinced Indianapolis was well ahead of Denver and St. Petersburg, Fla. -- two cities that eventually received expansion teams, in 1993 and '98 -- in impressing major league owners.

"Once we didn't have a stadium," he said, "we were dead in the water."

Veteran baseball executive Peter Bavasi, who served for a time as a consultant to the Indianapolis project, said there was a bigger problem: geography.

"When I went to the owners meetings, the first thing they would say to me was, 'It's way too close.' "

Other issues

Indianapolis is within easy driving distance to major league franchises in Cincinnati and St. Louis and two in Chicago. Angotti said he expected all four to vote against Indianapolis in expansion.

Indianapolis would have needed to get three-fourths of the ballots in both the 12-team National League and 14-team American League.

As the importance of television markets grew, interest in allowing a nearby competitor shrank. The Indy bid was never put to a vote.

"I began to see the light flicker, just because of where we are," Angotti said.

Angotti said baseball officials would have preferred an extremely wealthy individual or large corporation to emerge as a majority owner. None did.

"It is one thing for the Busch family to own a team with such a strong retail product," Frick said, referring to Anheuser-Busch, the brewery that owned the St. Louis Cardinals from 1953-95.

"But for the corporations that were headquartered in Indianapolis in 1985, that would not have been easy to do. Drug companies (such as Eli Lilly and Co.) just don't own sports franchises."

The Colts' recent arrival didn't help, either.

"The influential people who were making the calls about the stadium wanted the NFL," said Danielson, 85, who still works as a City Securities Corp. vice president. "I don't think there was any disappointment. They were getting what they wanted."

Angotti's group had refunded the season ticket deposits by the end of 1985, and he left the group in 1988. He and others encouraged Emmis Communications Corp. head Jeff Smulyan to purchase a team.

Smulyan did, but it wasn't in the Circle City. He led a group that owned the Seattle Mariners from 1989-92.

"What we realized pretty quickly is the math didn't work here," Smulyan said.

The legacy

Major League Baseball finally decided to expand in 1990. Indianapolis did not submit a bid.

Little has been said of the Arrows or major league expansion here since.

"I don't think people realized it had died," Angotti said. "It just kind of evaporated."

Many analysts say that isn't a bad thing, including Cleveland State sports economics expert Mark Rosentraub, who studied the Indianapolis sports landscape extensively while a faculty member at IUPUI.

"The Indianapolis market could not have sustained three sports teams," he said. "There's not enough wealth. It's just too small."

The Triple-A Indians eventually got a new stadium in 1996 -- built at the corner of Maryland and West streets on a site once proposed for an Arrows stadium.

Victory Field is considered one of the top minor league facilities in the nation.

"It's great, family-oriented entertainment," Frick said. "A lot of us celebrate the success the Indians are having.

"This may be one situation in which it worked out well."

Angotti understands. But he still takes the occasional peek at the Arrows jersey hanging in his home and wonders what Downtown would have been like on a warm summer night with fans streaming to a major league ballpark.

"In the venture capitalist business, they say you always regret the deals and investments that got away," he said. "But you regret even more the investments that should have got away.

"Maybe it's fortunate this venture got away. It seemed like this had a lot of economic problems and a lot of other prominent people felt that way."

Call Star reporter Michael Pointer at (317) 444-6641.



This article was taken from www.indystar.com. All rights reserved.