With the last teams to arrive in MLB’s most recent expansion being the Tampa Bay Rays and the Arizona Diamondbacks during 1998, there is growing speculation about the possibility of a new city joining the host roster in the Major Leagues. Specifically, a franchise from the MLB in Nashville, Tennessee: this is a project that is progressively taking shape.
A group of investors led by the three-time major league champion, Dave Stewart, is interested in bringing a major league baseball team to Nashville, with the goal of becoming the sport’s first minority ownership group. Music City Baseball is the name of the organization, which has Tennessee State University and the Negro Leagues Museum in Kansas City as partners.
With the success of franchises like the Tennessee Titans in the NFL and the Nashville Predators in the NHL, Stewart wants to make baseball the new sensation in a region that has a strong sports culture, and they want to name the team the Nashville Stars after a team that competed in the Negro Leagues during the 1940s and 1950s. However, and according to Stewart’s own words, its arrival will have to wait as MLB has other priorities at the moment.
”I spoke to the commissioner (Rob Manfred) a couple of weeks ago and the same issue remains. There are two teams currently having problems with their stadiums: the Oakland Athletics and the Tampa Bay Rays: for now, the housing of these two franchises are their top priority. But as soon as this issue is resolved, expansion will be next on the calendar for MLB.”Dave Stewart, former MLB pitcher and leader of the Music City Baseball investment group.
The main reason preventing the expansion of the MLB
Both Tampa Bay and Oakland have become the leading cities to lose their MLB organization to relocation, as they have no contractual agreement or commitment to guarantee their presence inside a city stadium. The Rays have already tried to share a stadium with the city of Montreal in Canada, but such a proposal was rejected by the league. For the A’s, their owner has attempted to move the team to Las Vegas after being unsuccessful in building a new stadium within Oakland.
We started this process four years ago. Nashville is a fast growing city with a beautiful population of people. There’s so much going on here. That’s why MLB has Nashville at the top of the list of possible places to expand, that’s what sparked the idea to go down this path.”Dave Stewart, on why Nashville is the right city.
The team led by the former major leaguer plans to raise a total of at least 2 billion dollars to complete the purchase of the MLB expansion franchise in hopes that the Nashville Stars can come back to life and honor the legacy of one of the most important eras in American sports history.