Saturday, March 10, 2012

Would a New Hometown Team Change Your Allegiance?

I’ve often thought that the best way to cut down on the Yankees monetary advantage was to simply put a team back in Brooklyn. MLB can put all the salary restrictions it wants. It doesn’t mater if there’s still more money than can be printed flowing into the stadium. So, I reasoned, putting another team in NY should help that. One more option for ticket payers to take advantage of. One more option for advertisers to use. One more segment of fans that wouldn’t be buying Yankees jerseys. That would level the playing field.

But, would it work? I’m wondering. When the Expos were moving, one of the options being tossed around was putting a second team in Boston. Would Red Sox fans flee to the Expos? Not the die-hards, I’m sure. But, casual fans? Baseball fans? Would you drive past Expos Stadium to get to Fenway Park?

Or, what if it wasn’t exactly in Boston. When the Patriots were looking at moving (I know…imagine that) one option was Portsmouth, NH. The Air Force Base there had both the land required, and its own airport. What if the Expos moved there? Would every Red Sox fan coming down I-95 from Maine really keep driving another hour to Boston? Would Portsmouth residents really ignore the team in their neighborhood to stick with the Sox?

I think it would be hard for the next generation not to adopt the new team. I can see the parents sticking with the Sox, but the 8-year olds would have to wear the Expos jerseys. Especially if they were the “Boston Expos of Portsmouth.” So, I’d have to think that a new team in Brooklyn would have the same effect. The kids in Brooklyn would have to wear that on their jerseys. Eventually, the fans would trim some of the revenue away from the Yanks. Eventually, it would level the playing field for everyone.

Wouldn’t it have to?


  1. If you put a third team in New York, I don't think you'd hurt the Yankees very much unless you decided to relocate an existing team that could go to the playoffs every year.

    You would, however, hurt the Mets. Yankee fans are not going to switch over to a new team as long as their team continues to win. The Mets are already down to the diehards and a third team would probably win the loyalty of some of the fair-weather Mets fans just by being (1) new and (2) not the Yankees.

    I'm not sure Red Sox Nation is in a position to legitimately complain about the Yankees' spending advantage. Boston seems fairly well matched in their ability to pay players, and the Red Sox draw fans from a multi-state area.

    If anything, Baltimore, Toronto and Tampa Bay fans should be asking for that team in Brooklyn AND another team somewhere in New England.


  2. I was born and raised in Brooklyn. And that will NEVER happen. MLB, the Mets and the Yankees would see to that. Every time the LA Dodgers are up for sale, you hear people from New York who get the great idea of "Bring the Dodgers back to Brooklyn." Forget it. MLB will never permit any market with three teams.

  3. "I'm not sure Red Sox Nation is in a position to legitimately complain about the Yankees' spending advantage."

    It's a shame the Yankee Internet Junta has brainwashed even their rival Met fans about this one. "The Red Sox and Yankees are the same," said the Internet. "And so it shall be," said everyone who reads the Internet.

  4. But getting back to the post--I'm wondering about your take on the Mets. It's almost like you're not considering them as an MLB team that plays in New York. Basically, them being there IS the example you're looking for, and as we know, they haven't hurt the Yanks any.

  5. "and the Red Sox draw fans from a multi-state area."

    Let's talk about this. The Greater Boston area includes a big chunk of New Hampshire, all of eastern Mass except the cape, and all of Rhode Island. That 4,600 square mile area has 4.5 million people.

    The NY metro area (the 12,000 sq. mile area around NYC) has 22 million people.

    The density of the NY region is double that of the Boston region. And Boston isn't gaining anything more by adding Maine and northern NH than than New York is by adding upstate NY and western Mass/Vermont etc.

    So yeah there are two teams in NY plus the option of Jersey people going to Philly, but I don't think there's a population advantage for the Sox over the Yanks.

    Greater Toronto has a higher population density than metro NY even.

    And Fenway is the smallest/oldest park of all of them.

  6. I think the Mets have helped, especially when they're good. That's why there needs to be more teams. I get the Yankees are the Yankees. That brand is going to mean extra revenue. Can't help that. But, let's say that 22 million people means $300 million that can be spent on baseball teams. The Yankees being the Yankees means they split that pot with the Mets 60-40. That's $200 million to NYY, $100 million to NYM. About where the salaries are now. Now, instead, split the $300 million three ways. Say, 50-25-25. Then, the Yanks are down to $150 million. It also knocks the Mets and Brooklyn down. But, if they were good, they'd grow. That's a hit to the Yankees base.

    To go even further, if 22 million people means $300 million, then the Sox and their 4.5 million people equates to, what, $60 million? So, the Red Sox have done a good job with the RSN garbage to grow their fan base beyond the greater Boston area. (As have the Yankees.)

    So, the Yanks and Sox have both done a great job expanding their market. But, even with the Mets, the Yankees are starting with twice the base as anyone else in baseball. That's what needs to be trimmed. That's where brooklyn would hit them.


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