Originally Posted by Prometheus
Why is that?
Vancouver (which grows by the day) already has a larger metro population than Kansas City, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Cleavland, and Pittsburgh. Vancouver is also statistically tied with Denver and is projected to overtake Baltimore in less than four years and St. Petersburg in less than five years.
So, in terms of population, Vancouver is already superior to five MLB cities, and will be superior to eight MLB cities in just a few years.
MLB may never come to Vancouver. But it certainly has the population size to support it.
The population argument also holds true for the NBA to some extent.
There are a few reason I think the business case is far more difficult for MLB in relation to the cities you listed, irrespective of population trends.
For one, baseball is deeply rooted in the culture of most areas of the U.S. and most of those franchises, even in smaller markets are 40+ years old and are steeped in the culture of the City and corporate support. (Tampa Bay less so). I'm not saying this culture couldn't take root in Vancouver, but it would probably need to evidenced by a sustained period of support at more than just short-league A ball. Probably 5-10 years of proven support at AAA level would work.
This is reinforced by the fact that, in many of those smaller markets, there isn't a whole hell of a lot to do during the summer OTHER than to go to a baseball game. I've been to games in Baltimore and Pittsburgh, and I'm guessing those are probably better cities than most the rest of the list. In Vancouver, there are so many options for things to do in the summer that often times going to a sporting event is not up near the top of a lot of people's list...see the Lions troubles with attendance on some of the nicer summer evenings this season. Add on to that the shoulder season of April/May when the weather isn't great here, you'd have to have a roof, and you're still competing with hockey...
The case would also have to be made for TV ratings which wouldn't do great in the summer for the same reason...
The biggest reason though is simply that you'd have to make a case for Vancouver to more than double it's current sports capacity expenditure. Currently the Canucks, Lions, Whitecaps, Giants and Canadians combine for about 1,800,000 seats per year. You'd have to make a business case to support at least an additional 2,500,000 per year (based on MLB median attendance for 2013). This is something that is definitely supportable with a larger market even in a non-traditional baseball market like Miami or Toronto, but they are much larger.
Perhaps at some point if we keep growing at our current rate and there are cities/franchises that are stagnating, someone will come along and throw some money into a stadium to give it a shot, but I honestly don't see this happening in the next 20 years, at least. (and my gut says the NBA will be viable to come back well within this time frame almost for the sole purpose that it is in the dreary winter months when there is only hockey to compete with).