MLB expansion: History, teams, potential cities and hurdles

The inevitability is real. Expansion is coming to Major League Baseball. In what form, in what cities, in what year — all of those questions will be answered in time.

 If Manfred truly does announce the cities in the next five years — and though there are more than a half-dozen contenders, two cities have emerged as favorites — it will be a decision that ranks among the most consequential in the game’s recent history.

Salt Lake City — with a metropolitan-area population of 1.26 million, which would be the smallest by far among MLB teams — has made up for its lack of size with the strength of its plan. Led by the Miller family, which owned Utah’s only professional team, the NBA’s Jazz, for 35 years, Big League Utah is proposing an exceptional mixed-use development that would cost $3.5 billion in private money.

The group released renderings of the project Thursday. The stadium sits on the edge of around 100 acres the group plans to develop along the banks of the Jordan River. The project has drawn support from Gov. Spencer Cox, Salt Lake City mayor Erin Mendenhall and a wide array of state officials. Even Dale Murphy, a two-time National League MVP and Portland native who long had vouched for the Portland Diamond Project, switched his allegiances to the Utah group.

Read the full story from Jeff Passan at

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