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Report: MLB wont expand to Nashville, elsewhere before 2029

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(The Center Square) – Major League Baseball is not planning to begin an expansion process until 2029, Commissioner Rob Manfred told the Associated Press Sports Editors in an annual meeting at the MLB offices, The Tennessean reported.

That means Nashville will not have an expansion team until at least 2030 and likely after that at earliest, the newspaper reported.

“I have never identified particular cities as targets,” Manfred told the group, according to The Tennessean. “We need an Eastern time zone and either a Mountain or Western time zone (city), just in terms of making the format work in the best possible way.”

The group Music City Baseball has continued to push to bring baseball to Nashville, but where the funding would come from for a team and ownership remains uncertain.

Nashville was the favorite to receive an expansion team as of last summer, according to Gambling.com, and an MLB player poll said Nashville was the preferred city by players for the next MLB team.

Manfred’s MLB office hired a group of four lobbyist during the 2023 Tennessee Legislative session but not in 2024. MLB also hired lobbyists in Tennessee in 2019 and 2020.

MLB held its Winter Meetings in Nashville last offseason.

Funding for a potential stadium will also be an issue after Tennessee put $500 million toward a new $2.1 billion Tennessee Titans stadium, set to open in 2027, along with creating a tax capture along with the city of Nashville expected to collect $3.1 billion to fund stadium bonds, infrastructure and both improvements and maintenance during the life of the Titans’ lease.