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Could The MLB And NBA Expand? It Seems Like A Real Possibility

Could The MLB And NBA Expand? It Seems Like A Real Possibility
Fans wear Montreal Expos uniforms as they watch the Toronto Blue Jays in a pre-season baseball game against the New York Mets Friday, March 28, 2014 in Montreal. Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

There are multiple reports that both the National Basketball Association owners and Major League Baseball owners are on pace to get new Collective Bargaining Agreements with their respective players’ associations done thus avoiding work stoppages.

The reports make sense as it would be silly to shut down. Both leagues are stuffed with money, particularly with cable networks willing to spend incredibly high amounts of cash for TV rights. The networks need the programming because sports does reach an 18-34-year-old men demographic which is key for advertisers.

While the negotiators go through a laundry list of items that fans don’t care about including per diem allowances for players, there is one clause that baseball fans in Montreal, Oakland and St. Petersburg, Florida and basketball fans in Seattle and Louisville should review. The guidelines for expansion and relocation as the owners and players have to agree on expansion and relocation rules.

If the new Major League Baseball or National Basketball Association Collective Bargaining Agreements call for expansion and relocation, it indicates changes are coming.

There was a report from San Francisco that the new baseball deal could lessen revenue sharing payments to Lew Wolff’s Oakland franchise. The claim is Oakland needs a new stadium but the best option for Wolff moving down the I-880 to San Jose and that’s off the table because of Major League Baseball has territorial rules.

Wolff has a problem. There is no political will to give him or the Oakland Raiders ownership group public money for new facilities. Montreal has been talked up as a possible expansion franchise. Meanwhile, there are reports that the NBA wants to hold at 30 franchises. That is not good news for those in Seattle or Louisville who have been pushing to land an NBA team.

A reading of the new CBAs should shed some light on what MLB and the NBA plan to do in the near future.

By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.


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