Blind Observer #1: Expos in Portland?

Portland has only one professional team, making it the city with the third most people per team. Portland has a site just about bringing a major league baseball team to their city. The Expos cannot be profitable in Montreal, where they often get less than 10,000 fans a game.

I recently visited the city of Portland for a journalism convention. In the airport of Portland, my friend and I came up with a great solution for the Montreal/San Juan Expos.

That would be, quite simply, to move them to Portland, Oregon. It would do several things. First, we would be able to have 5 times in each division of both leagues. The Expos would move to the AL West, and the Pirates would move to the NL East. To me, this makes complete sense. The AL West only has four teams, while the NL Central has six. Pittsburgh is also much closer to the east coast than most other teams in the Central division.

I believe this would be a wise move because of the Expos poor attendance records. They have had less than one million fans for all their home games every year since 1998. In 2001, their 642,743 total attendances was about one fourth of the league average of 2,481,346.

However, the MLB is already aware of this. The Expos will play a total of 22 games in San Juan, Puerto Rico, as they decide where they will move the Expos.

Portland Baseball Group, a site devoted to attracting a MLB team to Portland shows that the city is interested in a team, and with the Expos needing a new home, there seems to be a match in the making. PBG argues that Portland has less average rain than 16 other MLB cities.

There has been talk of moving the Expos to Washington D.C. However, I believe Portland is more interested, and therefore will have a strong fan base. They also have only one major franchise, the Trailblazers. Washington D.C. has the Wizards, the Capitals, and the Redskins. In all fairness, Portland deserves a second team. They are third behind New York and Los Angeles in terms of population per major franchise.

That is why I ask Bud Selig to move the Expos to Portland as soon as he can. He won't regret it!

Jesse Radin writes for SFDugout.com and has been a Giants follower since 1996. The Blind Observer is Jesse's column covering all things baseball, though mainly about the Giants.


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