Closest MLB park by drive time

The link has a fascinating map of the U.S. and it’s color coded to show which MLB park is the closest. The map isn’t perfect and includes chunks of Canada and Mexico, which may be necessary for the former but likely not the latter, but it’s still worth checking out. It may hint at which areas need to be considered for expansion franchises. And the MLB team with the most fans by this rate will likely come as a surprise.

7 comments for “Closest MLB park by drive time

  1. Name
    February 24, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    Location wise the mountain regions could use another team. Salt Lake City would be perfect but it’s population is quite low. Instead, Alburquerque could be a candidate in the region. It’s actually the 32nd most populous city and contains about 1.2 million people including its suburbs.

    The other glaring one is the region between Texas and Georgia and I think Memphis could be a possibility there.

    When thinking expansion teams, you also have to consider the 4-5 additional minor league franchises per team as well, which could make things a bit more complicated.

    • February 24, 2018 at 2:17 pm

      And if you put in a team in ABQ or MEM – you have to add even more minor league teams to the equation, as those both have Triple-A teams currently. But MiLB teams seem to be making lots of money, so I think it could work.

      One city that hadn’t occurred to me previously is Providence, which could siphon off people from both BOS and NYY. Providence is 50.2 miles from Boston, so they could put the stadium somewhere to get around the territorial rights.

      • Name
        February 24, 2018 at 4:05 pm

        Providence would be a tough sell for Boston to agree. The region should be near 100% Red Sox base since their AAA team has played in Pawtucket since the 70s, which is 15 mins away from Providence. It’s also a pretty tiny – only 180k people.

        While there are people to support putting another team in the NE region, it would be a huge long term 20+ year gamble because most fans are deep-rooted Boston or Yankees and it’s going to take long time to erode that.

        • February 25, 2018 at 8:20 am

          Does Boston have any say as long as its territorial rights are protected? It’s 50 miles but I’m not sure if that’s 50 miles from the physical stadium or 50 miles from a designated area. I know in MiLB, that the Carolina Mudcats built a stadium in tiny Zebulon, because it was just outside the territorial rights of the Durham Bulls.

          My opinion is that what’s important is that baseball is an easier sell in Rhode Island than it is in New Mexico or most other places where expansion has been mentioned. Put this team in the AL and you’ve got guaranteed sellouts when NYY and BOS come to town and TOR should draw well, too. Maybe they’re the second team for awhile but if you can get box seats for a second team at the price of bleacher seats for the first, you’ll draw. And if it’s 20 years to build a fan base, they’re ahead of the two Florida teams.

  2. Metsense
    February 24, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    Atlanta and Washington,DC are ranked #1 and #4 based on territorial population. Charlotte would be a good choice and they are home of pro football and basketball teams.

  3. Chris F
    February 24, 2018 at 4:27 pm


  4. February 25, 2018 at 12:47 am

    I think you would have to add two teams to keep the balance between leagues. ABQ with its rarified air would be another Colorado. What would be the fee for another team to enter MLB? I do like Charlotte in the East for the NL and maybe Tucson? in the west (AL)

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