Well, this is certainly outside-the-box thinking: an Atlanta ad exec says MLB should be coerced into placing a team in Turner Field once the Atlanta Braves move to a new Cobb County ballpark.
Mike McDonald says there’s enough of a fan base in Atlanta to support two MLB teams, and he says the Atlanta Surge (yes, he has a name and a logo) would be a fine, fine addition to the Atlanta sporting scene. The proposed American League team could either be an expansion franchise or a relocated team; McDonald has reached out to the Tampa Bay Rays ownership but, not surprisingly, has not received a response. He’s put together his arguments for MLB Turner Field baseball in 2017 and beyond in a slideshow, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
“Can metro Atlanta be like several other markets with two major league teams?” McDonald asked. “I think I can make that case.”…
Another throws down the gauntlet: “MLB’s days as a legal cartel are numbered. MLB wants to avoid, at virtually all cost, any challenge to this irrational, obsolete antitrust exception. Atlanta’s unique historical relationship with MLB for almost 50 years can be adroitly and/or boldly employed to bring a brand new MLB American League East franchise to Atlanta & Fulton Co.”
Asked about the huge obstacle of the Braves’ territorial rights, McDonald said he thinks a “hardball” legal challenge could strike it out.
Of course, this will never happen. Territorial rights are still the law of the land (unless something happens in an appeal over San Jose’s pursuit of the Oakland A’s), MLB isn’t expanding any time soon (and Atlanta would be far down the list when expansion does come — and we believe it will, just not any time soon), Atlanta isn’t big enough to support two MLB teams, and no team would want to move to Atlanta and compete with the Braves in a new ballpark. This is a lot of wishful thinking that will generate a lot of talk amongst the Internet barstoolers, but it’s not going to save Turner Field.
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