Yesterday I wrote about why the Rangers should vote against A’s relocation and today I want to look at their 2023 World Series rival Diamondbacks.
Like the Rangers, the DBacks were a 100+ loss team just two seasons ago and they’ve built themselves up to be in the World Series in an incredibly quick turn-around. Maybe their .519 record in 2023 isn’t the most impressive but at the end of the day, they’re fighting for a ring and 28 other teams are watching from home.
So how does this equate to a no vote on relocation? Because they know first hand that having a sucky team is not a reason to abandon a fanbase. They know that spending a little extra money can make a world of difference – they spent a little more than double what Oakland spent and are still in the bottom third of payrolls. And they know it can all be done in a similarly sized, multi-sports, market just like Oakland.
Most importantly, they should know that adding another team to that region is only going to hurt them. It’s 302 miles from Chase to the Tropicana and while that’s not the same market, one has to assume a fair amount of Southern Nevada baseball fans make the trip from time to time and they also have to assume a fair amount of Arizona fans will drive to Vegas when that day comes. There’s no scenario where the A’s moving to Las Vegas helps Arizona attendance.
From Arizona, that would put the A’s, Padres, Dodgers, and Angels within a day trip drive. That’s a congested market for a team that hasn’t drawn over 2 million fans since 2019 (though they came close this year).
So why give in to an owner who admits that he’s going to remain on the receiving end of revenue share AND steal some of your home market share? Why would you allow a team to move that close and make a home in a shared media market (Vegas is currently shared between Arizona and all five CA teams)? Will the Diamondbacks lose their rights in Vegas? Will the A’s make that share worthless?
Lastly, no NL West team should support allowing the Giants to have the largest unshared market in baseball. That’s going to equate to better media deals which means more revenue, which means more competitive spending in an already exceptionally expensive division. So Arizona stands to earn less, spend more, and potentially impact their attendance numbers.
It seems like a gamble that Arizona of all teams shouldn’t take.