Brown also echoes a theme I have written about before: with MLB turning $7 billion in revenue a year, the problem isn't Tampa Bay's or Oakland's - the problem is the league's:
"The issue is internal. This is MLB’s problem, not one that requires fans to lose a team or two in what Bud Selig has called 'Baseball’s Golden Age'."One more thing: I had indicated the Forbes column was baseless yesterday. I'd like to add it was also ignorant. In reading author Otzanian's comments at the bottom of the page, I see he based a large part of his argument about contracting the Rays on their poor broadcast contract.
And really, in the end, isn’t this really about trying to new stadiums built at taxpayer expense? It was the case with the Twins and Marlins, and it worked. Whether politicians are any wiser now than they were then remains to be seen.
There are arguments that might be made that contracting the Rays, who have performed exceptionally well in the standings, but abysmally at the gate, should be relocated. Contracting them, even if it made sense, is an impracticality. Baseball needs to figure out its own problems with relocation before the hollow threat of contraction is passed around through the press."
However, with record TV ratings last year and an impressive start to 2011 as well, the team stands to make a huge windfall in 2016 (or sooner) when that deal is renegotiated. Both the Rays and MLB know this well and don't want to pull a team out of Tampa Bay.