The biggest obstacle seems to be the PCL, which seems not inclined to having franchises in Canada.
Anyway, future will tell.
Torosfan is right Las Vegas isn't a very good sports town. I never bought into this Las Vegas is this great major league sports city because they had some population gain that is folly in my opinion. To just go by population and not look at the whole picture of a city. My city Buffalo is a small city but were a good sports city so we draw. Going to the games and merchandise sales are huge in minor league sports in my opinion.
There is no network tv contract to get by on. Population is a factor but not the only factor and too many fans in my opinion put too much weight on population instead of looking at weather the city ever was into sports to begin with. Plus your dealing with a city in Las Vegas that has alot on unemployment right now.
I wonder for the PCL if moving both Portland and Las Vegas to canada might be the answer as a pair so that would help with travel. Maybe a Edmonton with the 51's and Vancouver with the Portland Beavers that are looking for a new home. Let's Go Buffalo
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This just in:
http://newsok.com/redhawks-sale-to-mand ... tory_title
Skippy is the answer maybe spliting the PCL up into two seperate leagues to save on travel? Like when triple-a had three team triple-a leagues IL, PCL and American Association? The IL is solid because our travel is great on the east coast. The PCL the way I see it is to spread out all over the map. Buffalo would never go back to the old American Association we were stuck there because when the Buffalo Bisons got back into triple-a baseball the Wichita Aeros at the time American Association had there owner willing to selling to Bob Rich to move to Buffalo.
The IL at that time 1985 had no teams for sale. I wonder through if the IL gives the PCL the IL West Division. Then split the PCL into two seperate leagues. Of the western most clubs PCL and the midwestern clubs American Association or some new name because some independent league is using that name now. So triple-a baseball would have three 10 teams leagues to save on travel cost for the PCL. Let's Go Buffalo
New Triple-A Midwestern League Teams
I have reason to believe that there are systemic issues with AAA, reasons for strong concern.
Not grave concern. Insolvency? THAT is going to take more proof.
Memphis is known. They're in forbearance to the bank right now, 90% of their stadium was funded from private bonds, so the city of Memphis has less incentive to throw them a lifeline.
The Grizzlies have Fresno over a barrel. They're getting $700K in relief this year. Since it's the city on the hook for Chukchansi, I think that problem is solvable.
Portland- no willing city partner. The question is if someone buys the Beavers. Insolvent? There's a bigger check-writer backing this up.
Omaha? They're getting a new ballpark next year. The location may beg for long-term issues, otherwise I need to see more proof with this.
Las Vegas? I can see that. However, proof required.
New Orleans? I'm not sure I'm buying this. Again, more proof.
Oklahoma City? If the sale goes through, I'm very curious of the purchase price. Bricktown's paid for, by my understanding. If they're insolvent, then geography isn't the league's worst problem.
One thing noticed: none of these teams are within 100 miles of their parent. The fact that Tacoma and Colorado Springs are not on this list either makes me suspicious of Skippy...
...or tells me that there's a possible trend that becomes official (if technically so) if the San Diego Padres buy the Beavers and arrange a San Diego County home. I suspect many MLB owners are starting to think differently about how to manage their farms. I think, long term, AAA might be less a status issue for next-tier cities and more a "reserve team" within close proximity of the parent. It potentially changes the business in some profound ways.
As far as Vegas, they cannot get a stadium built and are being courted by Edmonton.
The sheer fact that Portland cannot find a place to go speaks volumes of the current system.
In my opinion, and yes I know we all have opinions, what we will soon see is times of all levels playing against each other, regardless of classification.
I'm not going to go team by team, city by city and list the issues each of them have, and I know you are well read with this stuff too. The info is out there.
Several are insolvent, several are huge money losers and are receiving aid, and/or are becoming too costly to remain vanity projects for some team owners/corporations.
A few are also unwanted or definitely not being assisted by city govt. at this time.
An interesting development is several of these teams are having difficulty even finding a city who wants them when they are trying to move. Omaha (which is settled with that strange ballpark they are building in Sarpay), Vegas, Portland.
New Orleans was in trouble before Katrina, before oil spills, so I can't imagine them being any better off now.
Having no first hand knowledge of the current dealings of the league, but given the current economic status of the country as a whole, one could reasonable surmise that some of the teams may have borrowed money in the spending frenzy of the early 2000's, that is harder to pay back right now.