During last year’s All-Star break in Cincinnati, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred commented on many different topics, including the idea of expansion and the stadium dilemmas with the Tampa Bay Rays. “While it would be years down the line, baseball has looked into the idea of expanding the league to 32 teams.” Oakland A’s. Manfred said. Manfred would like to keep the curent teams in their respective cities. After this, many different cities were suggested for expansion — from Montreal to Charlotte to Mexico City to San Juan and even Las Vegas.
But one of the more intriguing options is a third team in the tri-state area. This isn’t the first time this has been suggested, as Scott Boras stated in 2013 that the Rays should move to North Jersey. The Rays are under contract with Tropicana Field until 2027, which is still a ways away. The A’s will also have to consider relocation if they can’t make a deal with their city (and as seen with the Raiders and Warriors, that’s hard to do in Oakland). So with the option of a team moving or expanding to Jersey, what would a third New York team look like?
Obviously, baseball has had three teams in New York before, as both the Dodgers and the Giants called the city home before moving west in 1957. New York can hold a third baseball team, as they do with hockey. With eight million people in the city and 24 million in the extended tri¬state area, it’s easy to play host to three teams. The placement of a third team would probably be in New Jersey, as Brooklyn’s counterculture has become unsuitable for sports, as seen with the Islanders and the Nets. Westchester County is heavy Yankees country, while Long Island is heavy Mets country. A New Jersey stadium could be placed in either the city of Newark or the Meadowlands. In fact, Newark has a 6,200 seat stadium on its riverfront that can be built up. Both Newark and the Meadowlands can be accessed by NJ transit. The North Jersey area has around three million people, not counting the population of Central Jersey, the Lehigh Valley area and northeastern Pennsylvania. That entire population, mostly comprised of Yankees fans, would be able to hold both teams, especially if the new franchise were in the National League.
Similar to how the Giants, Dodgers and Yankees were until the late 50s, new rivalries would be born as the teams would vie for supremacy in New York. If a team moves there, the team probably will already have players in place to be successful, which would quickly garner a fan base. With any luck, the team’s success could result in a Subway Series, which would be incredible for ratings. Any time a New York team is in the World Series, or any championship game, ratings skyrocket. It would be even more interesting if a new New York team were in the World Series, and even better if it were playing against the Yankees or the Mets.
While many other areas will be considered before New York, the area should not be pushed aside. A third team in New York is an idea with more potential than people realize.