MLB Expansion Charlotte: Will Charlotte Get An MLB Team?

MLB Expansion Charlotte: Will Charlotte Get An MLB Team?
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

It’s been more than a quarter-century since Major League Baseball last expanded, with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays being the last two teams to join the league back in 1998.  

Fast forward 26 years and a host of cities from the eastern seaboard west towards the temperate climates of Portland and Vancouver and you have a pretty good idea of who MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred might go with whenever the MLB decides to add a 31st and 32nd franchise.  

With a population of just under 875,000 and the 21st largest TV market size, Charlotte and the team trying to bring professional baseball to the Queen City (The Charlotte MLB Project) are hot to trot to add MLB baseball to a city that already has an MLS, NBA, and NFL team.  

That market size is larger than three of the current clubs in The Show, in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Cleveland, while ranking comparably to other expansion candidates like Nashville (population: 689,447/TV market: 27th), Salt Lake City (population: 119,723/TV market: 29th) and Portland (population: 652,503/TV market: 22nd).  

To get a sense of Charlotte’s MLB odds, BetCarolina.com - your home for North Carolina sports betting - came up with some hypothetical odds on which cities could land the next two professional baseball franchises, with the Queen City ranking among the favorites at the moment.  

See BetMGM.com for Terms. Must be 21+ to participate & present in NC only. New Customer Offer. Subject to eligibility requirements. Rewards are non-withdrawable bonus bets that expire in 7 days. Gambling problem? Call 877-718-5543 or visit morethanagame.nc.gov.

MLB Expansion Charlotte: Will Charlotte Get An MLB Team?

You won't find these odds on North Carolina betting apps, but if an expansion team happens, they will be included in all MLB betting.

City Odds % Chance
Nashville, TN -20066.7%
Salt Lake City, UT -11052.4%
Charlotte, NC +30025.0%
Montreal, QC +60014.3%
Portland, OR +70012.5%
San Antonio, TX +10009.1%
Mexico City, MX +10009.1%
The Field +90010.0%

Right now, it’s hard to see MLB going against the Music City, with Nashville’s expansion bid being called “close to a fait accompli” by ESPN’s Jeff Passan, which speaks to the expansion bid put forth by the city’s baseball leaders.  

That’s why we have Nashville atop our MLB expansion odds board, at -200, while Salt Lake City is the next closest locale (at -110), with Charlotte being the No. 3 candidate at +300 at the moment.  

Charlotte MLB Expansion Team Name

According to multiple media outlets, Charlotte’s MLB efforts are centered around the name the Charlotte Aviators, which Hayden Peterson of the group telling The Center Square that his goal is to bring such a team name to life in the Queen City.  

“We need to let people know why Charlotte is the best for this,” Peterson told The Center Square. “We really want to get fans involved to show the city and league officials fans want this.” 

Peterson believes that Charlotte and Nashville are the top options for MLB expansion, citing corporate support from North Carolina businesses like Atrium Health, Bank of America, Bojangles’, and Cheerwine as a reason why the Queen City can punch its way off the ropes and into the MLB’s ranks in 2024 (or whenever Manfred pulls the trigger on league expansion). 

Closest MLB Team To Charlotte

MLB Team Distance To Charlotte, NC
Atlanta Braves 243.9 miles
Washington Nationals 399.1 miles
Baltimore Orioles 435.9 miles
Pittsburgh Pirates 447.1 miles
Cincinnati Reds 477.5 miles

The closest cities, distance-wise, from Charlotte that currently have MLB franchises of their own are the Atlanta Braves, which are a 243.9-mile jaunt down I-85 from the Queen City, beating out the Washington Nationals (399.1 miles), Baltimore Orioles (435.9 miles), Pittsburgh Pirates (447.1 miles) and Cincinnati Reds (477.5 miles).  

Adding another southern franchise to the league, along with a west coast club in a city like Portland, Salt Lake City, or Vancouver, would allow Manfred and the MLB to split the league into eight different divisions of four teams apiece. This could win over support from current team owners, as it’d reduce travel and save franchises money in the long run. In this scenario, Charlotte would likely get put in the same division as the Braves, Miami Marlins, and Tampa Bay Rays.

Now that sports betting is legal in NC, check out the best North Carolina sportsbook promos right here on BetCarolina.com.

See BetMGM.com for Terms. Must be 21+ to participate & present in NC only. New Customer Offer. Subject to eligibility requirements. Rewards are non-withdrawable bonus bets that expire in 7 days. Gambling problem? Call 877-718-5543 or visit morethanagame.nc.gov.
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Author

Christopher Boan is a lead writer at BetCarolina.com specializing in covering state issues. He has covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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