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MLB: Could White Sox or Orioles Move To Nashville?

 Leif Skodnick  |    Aug 29th, 2023 12:46pm EDT

A general view of Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 25, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Staff Reports
World Baseball Network

When it first hits your ears, it sounds like a hit.

Major League Baseball in Nashville, Tennessee!

But while there’s a lot of noise in recent reports about the possibility of the big leagues coming to the Music City, there’s a long way to go before a Major League club calls Nashville home.

Two existing clubs have been rumored to be investigating a move to Nashville, and while

A report from Crain’s Chicago Business last week indicated that the White Sox, who have six years remaining on their lease at Guaranteed Rate Field, have not had any discussions regarding a new lease at the South Side ballpark that has been their home since the 1991 season.

“We have not had any conversations about our lease situation,” White Sox senior vice president of communications Scott Reifert told Crain’s. “With six years remaining, it is naturally nearing a time where discussions should begin to take place. The conversations would be with the city, ISFA and the state, and most likely would be about vision, opportunities and the future.”

Crain’s further reported that no decision regarding the team’s future in Chicago is imminent, and that long-time owner Jerry Reinsdorf may seek to sell the club.

The White Sox have called Guaranteed Rate Field home since 1991, when it replaced the aging Comiskey Park, which the Sox had called home since 1910 after leaving nearby South Side Park. 

Similarly, the Baltimore Orioles’ lease on Oriole Park at Camden Yards is nearing its end, and the team declined to exercise a five-year option to extend the lease in February. 

At the All-Star Game, Major League Baseball commissioner Robert Manfred said, “My view on the future of the Orioles in Baltimore hasn’t changed. I have every confidence there will be a resolution on that lease issue. They’ll stay in Baltimore.”

Owned by Peter G. Angelos, John Angelos, Peter’s son, is the team’s president and CEO. The younger Angelos has been heavily involved in discussions to redevelop the area around Camden Yards into an entertainment district similar to the area around Truist Park in Cobb County, Georgia, the home of the Atlanta Braves.

As for Nashville, the city is home to the Nashville Sounds, the Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, who play in First Horizon Park, which opened in 2105 at a cost of $91 million. The ballpark has a capacity of 10,000 – far below the minimum necessary to host Major League Baseball. 

Nashville is home to the National Football League’s Tennessee Titans, the National Hockey League’s Nashville Predators, and a Major League Soccer franchise. 

The State of Tennessee committed $500 million in funding to a new stadium for the Titans, and another $760 million in financing for the $2.1 billion stadium is expected to come from a bond issue that will be repaid via a hotel tax and personal seat license sales. The $1.26 billion in public funds is the largest public subsidy for a stadium in U.S. history. 

The majority of the $275 million cost of construction for Nashville SC’s stadium, Geodis Park, was also financed through a revenue bond issue by the city government.

Will more public financing for another stadium be a hit in Music City? Baseball fans will have to wait for that song to come up on the jukebox.

Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Guaranteed Rate Field opened in 1993. It opened in 1991, and the story has been corrected to reflect as such.