It’s a development that has become as predictable as yellow pollen in the spring. A Major League Baseball franchise, struggling financially, seeks a new stadium deal, a new location, a new life.
In the midst of resulting contention, options are explored. Such as relocating to another area.
San Antonio, for instance.
These days, the city has again cropped up in reports and online forums as a suggested target for the Oakland Athletics, frustrated in a bid to move to nearby San Jose, Calif., or the Tampa Bay Rays, fighting to draw meaningful crowds over the past three seasons despite superb results.
“If, however, the smoke leads to fire, then one must ask: What will become of the A’s?” a CBSSportsline.com blogger offered last month. “Will we once again be subjected to half-serious rumors of contraction? Are the Portland/Las Vegas/San Antonio/Charlotte/New Jersey/Mexico City A’s in our future? Will the status remain quo?”
It’s familiar distant speculation about baseball, the kind of saber-rattling to which San Antonio sports fans have become accustomed over the past decade.
After all, the city was mentioned in various levels of conjecture as a possible destination for the Montreal Expos as early as 2003, the Florida Marlins in 2006 and Seattle Mariners in 2008.
It all amounted to a mound of beans, and these latest wild pitches will, too.
The powers that be in San Antonio and Bexar County are equally skeptical, as they should be. The simple fact is that there aren’t enough people in the San Antonio urban area or MSA for this to be worthwhile. It’s basic math – look at the numbers:
MSA 2010 Pop ================================================== San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA MSA 4,335,391 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL MSA 2,783,243 San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX MSA 2,142,508 Urban Area 2010 Pop ================================================== San Francisco-Oakland, CA 3,228,605 Tampa-Saint Petersburg, FL 2,062,339 San Antonio, TX 1,327,554
In each case, fewer people than Tampa, and less than half of the two-team San Francisco/Oakland area. What’s the value proposition for a franchise owner to move to San Antonio? Some day maybe, but not now. That’s really all there is to this.