Every city with a minor-league baseball stadium thinks it can land the A’s now, basically

If you liked San Jose’s claim that it was trying to lure the Oakland A’s to play temporarily in a 4,200-seat minor-league stadium, you’ll just love this:

[Lynn] Lashbrook, president of Sports Management Worldwide, visited Hillsboro Ballpark and met with the architects who drew up plans for the Class A Hops’ 4,500-seat stadium, which made its debut last June.

The mission was to determine if enough temporary seating could be added to increase the capacity so the stadium could serve as an interim facility for the Oakland A’s, if they would choose to move, while a permanent stadium in Portland is built…

“I think we can get it to a capacity of between 15,000 and 20,000,” Smith says.

I’m trying to picture how this would play out in A’s owner Lew Wolff’s head: Let’s see, I’d be moving from being second fiddle in one of the biggest metro areas in the U.S. to a market that has doesn’t even have a triple-A team — sorry, wait, to a suburb of that market, in a stadium that would hold maybe half the capacity that an MLB franchise requires, if someone can find the money to build the temporary expansion. And then I could either hope that someone builds a full-size stadium in downtown Portland — something Lashbrook has been talking about for a decade but getting nowhere — or start all over again somewhere else. Where do I sign?!?

The only way this really makes sense — okay, there’s no way it makes sense, but the only way it’s even conceivable if you squint really hard and check your disbelief at the door — is if Wolff finds himself backed to the wall by intransigent lease demands by Oakland on the Coliseum, and then doesn’t want to try to rent from the Giants because they’re in the middle of a territorial rights battle with them and doesn’t want to move to the A’s already-14,000-seat-capacity triple-A stadium in Sacramento because, um, he’s afraid of floods, maybe?

My favorite part of this entire Portland Tribune article, meanwhile, is that the single-A Hillsboro Hops would continue to play at their stadium at the same time as the A’s, because what minor-league baseball team doesn’t love having to compete for fans with a major-league team in their same stadium? After all, that’s happened before … I’m pretty sure never, but there’s a first time for everything.

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8 comments on “Every city with a minor-league baseball stadium thinks it can land the A’s now, basically

  1. Portland Oregon ? After how the Rose Garden went into receivership disputes with a billionaire, I’m sure they’ll be super excited about funding a downtown baseball stadium.

  2. Did the architects they met with laugh at the idea or salivate at the fees they’d generate basically tearing down all the grandstands ?

    The site isn’t exactly promising for a way to shoehorn new grandstands in while doubling or tripling parking capacity.

  3. Portland? The same Portland that thinks so much of baseball that a decade after Civic Stadium was renovated into a nice 19,000-seater, they did ANOTHER redo of the park into a soccer/football-only facility and sent their PCL team packing so they could bring in an MLS soccer team? They’d support an ultimate Frisbee team in Portland better than they did baseball.

  4. … and some of you laughed when I brought up Minot as a dark horse contender for a major league team (in some sport… at some time…. somehow…) a year or two ago… for shame…

  5. I can’t believe Charlotte, Indiana and Oklahoma City don’t have professional baseball teams. I see a lot of Texas Rangers fans in Oklahoma. I’m pretty certain football would clean up here as well. The people are psycho for it.

  6. FTFY – I can’t believe Charlotte, Indiana and Oklahoma City don’t have major league baseball teams.

    All three cities (assuming you meant Indianapolis) have AAA minor league baseball teams, which are professional.

  7. Charlotte and Indianapolis are 25th and 26th in Nielsen market size; OKC is 41st. (Portland is 22nd.) The first two might be a marginal upgrade over Milwaukee (34th) or Cincinnati (35th), but it’d be a small enough gain that it’s not really worth uprooting franchises and rolling the dice on a new fan base. (And, of course, both of those teams already have new stadiums to play in, courtesy of the public treasury.)

    It’s easier for the NFL and NBA to place teams in borderline markets, because they rely less heavily on local cable revenue than MLB. Baseball has done by far the best job of filling only the top markets — Cincy is the smallest MLB market, whereas the other leagues are full of cities like Memphis (#49), Buffalo (#52), and Green Bay (#69).

  8. Using the San Who-say? Muni is about the biggest joke only to be topped by the Hillsboro lunacy.
    Muni barely makes the grade for class-A and even with upgrades for that level it’s way behind what Stockton and most of the Cali. league franchises have.
    Round and round they go in the loopiest place on earth outside of D.C.

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