Is Mexico City Next in Line for an MLB Franchise?

The possibility of presence in Latin American is something that some in the MLB has been flirting with for decades, and plenty of current and past talent in MLB has certainly come from south of the border. Currently, more than 20 percent of MLB players are from Latin America. San Francisco Giant Sergio Roma had a grandfather who played in the Mexican League, and he states that baseball’s popularity in Mexico has increased substantially in the years since his grandfather’s days.

With the Oakland A’s stadium situation up in the air, speculation is rampant that the team may land in another city — and some think that it’s Mexico City’s turn to step up to the plate and host a franchise. It’s certainly so secret that the MLB has made moves toward expanding its reach into Latin America in recent years. In June of 2016, MLB announced that it would be opening an office in Mexico City. The announcement came on the heels of the organization’s decision to extend its agreement with major Mexican mass media corporation Telivisa, and spring training exhibition games have been played in Mexico City in recent years.

Estadio Diablos and a High WBSC Ranking

With a population of more than 20 million people, Mexico City has the potential for the kind of vibrant fan base that packs stadiums and fosters continuous community spirit. Mexico City also has a brand new 13,000 seat luxury stadium built on the same iconic spot where the 1968 World Olympic games were held. Called ‘Estadio Diablos,’ the stadium’s design is meant to mimic the look and feel of a temple in ancient Mesoamerica. Another major point in Mexico City’s favor is that Mexico recently had the honor of being rated 5th in Feb. of 2018 in the World Baseball Softball Confederation’s ranking system. Up from the 6th spot in 2017, this is Mexico’s highest ranking to date.

The light isn’t completely green for Mexico, however — several other heavy hitters are also in contention to be the next MLB host. The city’s relatively low affluence level has some wondering if it’s the best choice after all.

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