It’s a shift in strategy for Music City Baseball, seeking to bring MLB to Nashville, as former MLB All-Star and D-Backs GM Dave Stewart will now recruit investors and launch a diversity effort for a minority-led franchise.
Stewart has been involved with the Music City Baseball effort to land a relocating or expansion team as an advisor since 2018; he was also signed up to be part of a losing Tagg Romney bid for the Miami Marlins in 2017 while also leading a big to buy the Oakland Coliseum site in 2021. (He was one of many such advisors; at various times Justin Timberlake, Tony La Russa, Darius Rucker and Dave Dombrowski signed onto the efforts.) It’s been no secret that the Music City Baseball group was seen as lacking the financial resources to land, oh, the Tampa Bay Rays or Oakland A’s–sure to cost $2 billion at least on the open market–or spend $2 billion on an expansion team plus startup costs of another billion, including ballpark spending. Music City Baseball did gain some goodwill with partnerships with the Black community as well as a licensing deal with the Kansas City-based Negro Leagues Museum. Two other ties to the Black community: the Nashville Stars was a Negro Leagues team, and the team has said it will look at building a ballpark on the campus of Tennessee State, a historically black college and university (HBCU)–perhaps the leading site now for a potential Stars home now that the Tennessee Titans are seeking a new covered stadium next to Nissan Stadium, once touted as a potential Nashville ballpark site.
If he succeeds in raising enough capital and landing a team, Stewart and his investors would be making history: there has never been a majority minority-owned MLB franchise. Raising money now is a good idea; MLB insiders assume we will see expansion in the next five years once the Oakland and Tampa Bay ballpark situations are resolved.
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