* If I’m a Rays’ fan, I’m a lot more concerned about Major League Baseball scenarios in Orlando, the “Dreamers,” than in Montreal, the “ExRays.” Orlando wanted in back in the 1990s, when expansion franchises were awarded to Miami and Tampa Bay. They still do, and Miami and Tampa Bay now have track records to sigh for. They rank last and next-to-last, respectively, in attendance. Meanwhile Orlando, with NBA and MLS franchises, continues to morph as a market with 80 million tourists annually and a TV market now ranked 18th nationally. If I’m Rays’ management, I’m even more concerned.
The Orlando Schemers say expansion is more likely than relocation. For now. But they would be hard pressed to convince anyone that MLB would chance putting a third franchise in Florida, especially when one of the underperforming incumbents is right down the I-4 road.
* It still seems ironic–and weird–that the most popular spectator sport in this major southwest Florida market is hockey–not football or baseball. We know the reasons, but it still seems weird.