According to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, Las Vegas may be a potential market when MLB will expand. But before this will be the case, the Oakland Athletics and the Tampa Bay Rays must settle their stadium issues.
For a long time, Sin City was a no go for MLB due to the gambling industry. Gambling and baseball have been a bad combination several times. But now two major sports leagues have moved to Las Vegas (NHL, Las Vegas Golden Knights and NFL, Oakland Raiders) the way seems to be paved. Even if the Athletics and the Rays cannot settle their stadium issues, a move of one of them seems to be a possibility as well.
As soon as Oakland and Tampa Bay have settled their stadium issues, MLB may move to expansion. But next to Las Vegas and Montreal (also mentioned several times before), there are other cities that can support Major League Baseball, Charlotte and Portland (OR) for example.
One thing is clear, if MLB will expand, it will be a major operation. It is not only about two new teams that need to be formed or two new stadiums that need to be built, it is also about new scouting staffs and development staffs. And don’t forget the farm systems. Each new team will need teams at Rookie, Advanced Rookie, A Short Season, A Full Season, A-Advanced, AA and AAA. At each level, the several leagues must discuss where to place the new teams; there must be an even number of teams in each league that adopts the new teams. And the new farm teams need to play somewhere, so the parent clubs need to look for places to put those teams. How about the stadiums? Will there be new ballparks or existing ones? The new farm teams will need owners. In some cases, the parent clubs may own their farm teams, but in general, the parent clubs sign a deal with owners of the farm clubs, the so-called PDC (player development contract).
You may understand that an expansion in MLB is not arranged in a blink of an eye.
And IF MLB will move to Vegas, there will still be a “tiny” problem. The current AAA Las Vegas 51s will have to move elsewhere. This would be heaven sent for the city of Las Vegas, that wants the team to move out of Cashman Field. But with MLB at the horizon, the potential move to neighboring Summerlin will not take place as long as the arrival of an MLB team in Las Vegas is not engraved in stone.