Can Vancouver Support an MLB team?

Vancouver loves baseball. We flock to Seattle for the annual Blue Jays series every year and the Vancouver Canadians are regularly beating their own attendance records. This begs the question, could Vancouver support a Major League Baseball team?

BC place hosting a baseball game

Vancouver is the second largest market without an MLB team in Canada or the United States without a Major League team, only behind Montreal, which is one of the cities rumored to be getting a Major League team very soon. The non-Canucks sports history of Vancouver is fairly rocky though. The Grizzlies weren’t exactly a hit in the NBA, but some would say they never had a good enough team to warrant a huge following, especially with the short tenure.

The MLB maybe a different story though, especially with the way leagues are trying to make their expansion teams successful in their first season, specifically the NHL with the Vegas Golden Knights. The main problem the potential Vancouver team would have would be finding a location for a 50,000 seat stadium. BC place is a suitable location and size, but the Jumbotron would impede any ball hit in the air. Nat Bailey stadium is also way too small to meet MLB standards.

Vancouver also has the reputation of being a fair weather sports city when it comes to fan support and may not be able to support a team for 81 games of the year, which is 40 more than the Canucks. One thing the MLB could explore is having the Blue Jays play a game or two in Vancouver during the pre-season, similar to what they do in Montreal every year. In the end there are a lot of obstacles in the way of Vancouver getting an MLB team, though I believe one could thrive given the right situation.

 

One thought on “Can Vancouver Support an MLB team?

  1. Forget it. $500m to fix up BC Place recently and they’re not going to undo it for an MLB franchise. The issues that dogged the NBA franchise — which included American players not happy about playing outside of the USA — and which punish the Canucks (distance, exchange rates) would combine to make it terribly frustrating. The Whitecaps are doing well but not as well as they might in terms of fan support. Even the Lions struggle. Big-ass franchises are increasingly becoming dinosaurs.

    Besides, watching a Canadians’ game in the prettiest park on earth is one of the best things about this city and it always has been.

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