Manfred OK with team in Las Vegas
NEW YORK — Major League Baseballwould be open to having a team in Las Vegas, Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday.
Withtwoexisting franchises— the Oakland A’s and the Tampa Bay Rays — struggling to secure financing for new stadiums, the option of relocating a team to Las Vegas is very much on the table.
“If we were looking at relocation,” Manfred said, “Las Vegas would be on the list.”
The NHL and the NFL are moving into the nation’s gammeasure bling capital, breaking a barrier— and tapping into a market — that hadn’t been penetrated by professional sports.
“Those are two big moves,” Manfred said during an annual meeting with a group of sports editors at league headquarters. “We’ll be watching that carefully.”
Manfred didn’t rule out the possibility of an expansion franchise in Las Vegas but added that “until the Tampa Bay and Oakland situations are settled, I can’t see talking about expansion.”
TheRays’ chances of staying in the Tampa Bay area were bolstered slightly this week when a in the Florida Senate thatwouldhave barredproteams fromusingpublicmoneyfailed to pass. Without some sort of public funding, it’s doubtful Rays ownership could raise enough private capital to renovate or replace Tropicana Field.
Manfred also acknowledged the Miami Marlins were for sale andthat a groupheadedbyDerek Jeter and Jeb Bushwas “among a group of appealing bidders.”
An owner with strong Florida roots would be desirable, Manfred said. Bush is the former governor and a longtime resident of the state. Jeter would bring star power aswell as diversity.