I find it troubling that expansion rears its head without folks looking at how expansion could impact competitive balance. The options for expansion would create more small market teams fighting for the same low wage talent, either through the draft or lower cost signings. Expansion hurts smaller market teams if there isn't further efforts to balance the playing field.
And since the league won't take the basic steps of salary cap, further revenue sharing or even greater compensation for players loss in the way of draft choices; I have to come up with crazy ideas to allow for expansion. I guess I just have too.
This idea is the paired Cities approach and is born out of the silly idea that Cities could be sisters or brothers. We know the big market teams -- they have a larger population to drive ticket prices and larger TV markets to drive advertising revenue. Then there are the lower ten teams that are in a very different financial situation. In addition to these teams there are perhaps 10 cities which either have proven the ability to support major league sports teams or actually have bigger metro area populations and/or TV markets.
If we were to pair the smaller cities with teams with these next tier of cities there is the potential to have super teams that represent both cities. Here is what they may look like:
|Kansas City||Oklahoma City|
This creates teams with two cities. Two fan bases to drive up ticket prices, two tv audiences, tourism revenue as folks travel from city to city to follow the teams, and more opportunities to sell products and swag.
There is the problem of both Cities would need a major league quality stadium which would demand some up front costs. A portion of these could covered by selling franchises to the next two entries into this paired city system:
|Mexico City||Leon Mexico|
This isn't perfectly thought out but there is potential here. Smaller market teams would be bigger and perhaps have the cash to compete. When in Milwaukee they are called the Milwaukee Brewers and when in Indie they are called the Indie Brewers. Same team -- two locations...
What do you think Sirs?