Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Why doesn't Major League Baseball open a franchise in Mexico City?

Larry James offered a marvelous list of questions about immigration that I referenced on Grits for Breakfast. One of the most provocative : Why doesn't Major League Baseball open a franchise in Mexico City?

Why indeed? What a brilliant idea. I think it'd make a ton of money. Here are some reasons why:
  • Baseball has a long history in Mexico and a built-in natural fan base. The Mexican League has 16 teams, whose fan base could be mined and marketed to nationwide.
  • Mexico City could fill a big stadium. It has 20+ million people, as big as any US market, and as the first Mexican MLB team it would draw fans from nationwide.
  • Millions of Mexican immigrants and first-generation citizens of Mexican descent in the United States offer continent-wide subsidiary merchandising opportunities.
  • Baseball players would still cost millions of dollars, but labor costs for everything else from building or modifying a stadium to mopping the bathroom stalls would be cheaper in Mexico. That would improve margins every year.
There are probably other reasons for and against, but that strikes me as a workable idea. Now all I need is a couple hundred million dollars or so to get the plan rolling, and we're in business!


Larry James said...

Thanks, Scott!

Vagrunt said...

Well one is the distance. Monterrey, a smaller and wealthy city is much closer.

But before baseball goes to Mexico, why not Puerto Rico? After all, that's under U.S. protection, and the Carribean boasts more pro players than Mexico.

I suggest the Marlins relocate a little further south!