Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Why doesn't Brooklyn have major league baseball?

I suppose this is just a railing against the universe kind of thing but...

If there's any place that deserves its own ball team, it's Brooklyn.  Brooklyn has yet to recover from the Dodgers moving west.  And I don't think you'll find a higher concentration of passionate baseball fans anywhere in the U.S.  Most Brooklynites root for the Mets because they still hate the Yankees from all those Dodgers-Yankees series (even those who weren't born then).

Another reason why baseball in Brooklyn is a good idea:  the biggest complaint about MLB has been how big payroll teams dominate the small payroll teams.  Well, why not put market forces to work?  If there were 3 teams in NYC battling for the same fans and TV dollars, it would even things out a lot for teams in smaller markets.

All this from someone who only lived a year in Brooklyn, inspired by Ken Burns Baseball segment broadcast last night on PBS.

Jim Rankin
Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Ahhh. Ken Burns. Just becuase it's a documentary doesn't mean it's objective.

The thing with being burned once is that you never really want to be burned again. Losing the Dodgers is like having your spouse leave you for another man. The healthy thing would be to move on, but it ain't so easy to let someone back in. It's easier to date the Mets than to marry another team.

They keep talking about building a stadium in Brooklyn, but I don't see that it would be practical. I mean, why build a new stadium when you already have two perfectly good ones in Queens and Da Bronx already? That's from a purely economic point of view.

They also keep talking about putting the gowanus underground and building a park there, building a ferry from Coney Island to Wall Street, and several other things that are never gonna happen.

When did the Dodgers leave Brooklyn anyway? Certainly before my time. What percentage of the people in Brooklyn that would actually pay to see a ball game on a regular basis were around when the Dodgers were?

Most people my age (late 20's, early 30's, etc.) have no real memory of the Dodgers. Whether you're a Yankees fan or a Mets fan is something that has very little to do with The Dodgers, unless you inhereted your love of baseball from your parents.

Because Brooklyn had the best team in the world, and anything else just wouldn't cut it.
Tuesday, May 20, 2003

That should read:

Ahhh. Ken "Just becuase it's a documentary doesn't mean it's objective" Burns.
Tuesday, May 20, 2003

The answer is that the owners would never allow it.

Baseball has rules about where franchises can be located. One of these rules is that an owner can veto a new franchise within a certain distance of his existing franchise.

This is why there is not currently a team in Washington, D.C., and why Peter Angelos will have to be paid off before a team goes there. It has nothing at all to do with the market for a team.

Michael Davidson
Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Michael - I think everybody knows this. OTOH, they have been talking about moving the Mets to Brooklyn.
Tuesday, May 20, 2003

" Baseball has rules about where franchises can be located. One of these rules is that an owner can veto a new franchise within a certain distance of his existing franchise."

Exactly.  You can only do stuff like this when you have a get out of anti-trust free card from the government.  Otherwise market forces would probably put more teams in concentrated population centers, and the payroll and competitiveness issues would sort themselves out.

Jim Rankin
Wednesday, May 21, 2003

"Ken 'Just becuase it's a documentary doesn't mean it's objective' Burns"

Just curious, do you know of particular misrepresentations in his Baseball series?  In any case, it's certainly entertaining.

Personally, I'm always more suspicious of any source claiming to be objective.

Jim Rankin
Wednesday, May 21, 2003

"OTOH, they have been talking about moving the Mets to Brooklyn."

This sounds interesting.  Any references?  Probably linked to the Mets demands for a new stadium, I assume.

The Cyclones are a Mets farm club that plays in a stadium in Coney Island.  Really tough to get tickets, which is another indication that MLB would do well in Brooklyn.

Jim Rankin
Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Um... references. I remember reading an article a few years ago about plans for a stadium near floyd bennet field or something.

Quick google search turned up this:

I'm personally suffering from NIMBY. I'd hate to see Flatbush Avenue turned into a monster traffic jam, or for them to do anything to my favorite bike route over the Marine Parkway Bridge into Rockaway.

But I doubt it's ever going to happen.
Wednesday, May 21, 2003

That link is to a story describing potential locations for the Cyclones to play, not the Mets.

Mike Schiraldi
Sunday, July 20, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home