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LMB Expands to 20 Teams With Addition of Queretaro, Chihuahua; Mariachis Relocated

 Leif Skodnick  |    Nov 15th, 2023 5:46pm EST

Staff Reports
World Baseball Network

The Liga Mexicana de Beisbol approved expansion teams in Queretaro and Chihuahua for next season, and also rubber-stamped the relocation of Mariachis de Guadalajara to Jalisco.

The Conspiradores de Queretaro and Dorados de Chihuahua will begin play in the LMB next season, bringing the league to 20 teams, while the Mariachis franchise will become the Charros de Jalisco, owned and operated by the same owners that own the Charros de Jalisco of the Liga ARCO Mexicana del Pacifico.

The Dorados de Chihuahua are bringing LMB baseball back to the northwestern city of Chihuahua for the first time since 2010, when the previous LMB franchise, also known as the Dorados, left the city for Aguascalientes. The Dorados will play at the 14,500-seat Estadio Dorado.

The Conspiradores will play at Estadio Conspiradores, a stadium built with private funds in the city of Santiago de Queretaro, the capital of the state of Queretaro. The city has never previously hosted an LMB team.

The two expansion teams will participate in an expansion draft on a date yet to be determined. Players who were born in Mexico will be eligible for the expansion draft, while foreign-born players will be allowed to be signed as free agents, according to Mexico news website Mediotiempo.com.

Rumors about financial troubles for the Mariachis de Guadalajara came to a head in August, resulting in a forfeit when Guadalajara’s players refuse to play a home game during the final series of the regular season. The walkout came after players and staff said the franchise hasn’t paid their salaries or reimbursed their expenses for several weeks. The August 4 home game against the Sultanes de Monterrey was declared a forfeit win for Monterrey.

The relocated Mariachis franchise will bring LMB baseball back to the city of Zapopan, Jalisco, for the first time since 1995. The Charros previously won the Serie del Rey in 1967 and 1971.

The 2024 LMB season will have a 93-game regular season schedule which will begin on April 12 and end on August 1.