MLB Expansion Nashville: Will Nashville Get a MLB Team?

MLB Expansion Nashville: Will Nashville Get a MLB Team?
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

It’s been more than a quarter-century since Major League Baseball last expanded, with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays being the last two teams to join the league in 1998.

Fast forward 26 years, and expansion is again a topic as MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred looks to add a 31st and 32nd franchise.

With a population of just under 689,447 and the 27th-largest TV market size, Nashville and the team trying to bring the MLB to town (Music City Baseball) would like to add the highest level of baseball to a city that already has an MLS, NFL and NHL team.

That market size is larger than several of the current clubs in Pittsburgh (No. 28), Baltimore (No. 29), San Diego (No. 30), Kansas City (No. 34), Cincinnati (No. 37) and Milwaukee (No. 38). It ranks comparably to other expansion candidates like Charlotte (population: 874,579/TV market: 21st), Salt Lake City (population: 119,723/TV market: 29th) and Portland (population: 652,503/TV market: 22nd).

With that in mind,, your home to the best coverage of Tennessee sports betting, broke down odds on Nashville’s shot at getting an MLB franchise.

Right now, it seems like Nashville is the closest thing to a sure thing when it comes to MLB expansion, with ESPN’s Jeff Passan calling such a move “close to a fait accompli.”

The biggest question is whether the state of Tennessee, which just plunked down more than $2 billion to pay for a new stadium for the Titans, will find the financial wherewithal to support another billion-dollar stadium project.

City OddsPercentage Chance
Salt Lake City-11052.4%
San Antonio+10009.1%
Mexico City+10009.1%
The Field+90010.0%
Odds provided by and not available at Tennessee sports betting apps.
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Nashville MLB Expansion Team Name

The most likely name for Nashville’s first MLB club would be the Nashville Stars, which would allude to the city’s past connection to the Negro Leagues, with listing the name as a way to “create history by preserving history…”

Another name that could come up is the Nashville Sounds, which is the name the city’s Triple-A team has used since it was founded in 1978, serving as a nod to the city’s rich musical history.

Closest MLB Team To Nashville

Another element that could go in Nashville’s favor this expansion go-round is the city’s proximity to other teams, with Atlanta’s Truist Park being 238 miles to the southeast of the Music City.

That geographic isolation means few MLB owners could argue adding Nashville would dramatically eat into their TV market, which would likely clear any major hurdles standing in the way of garnering enough votes.

Adding a club in Nashville would likely allow the MLB to split into eight divisions with four teams in each of them. Music City would likely being paired with the Braves, Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays, which would cut down on travel costs.

All of the above explains why Nashville is considered by many to be the frontrunner for MLB expansion, with Manfred hoping to add two more teams to the league’s footprint before the end of his tenure in 2029.

MLB TeamDistance to Nashville
Atlanta Braves238 miles
Cincinnati Reds273 miles
St. Louis Cardinals308 miles
Chicago White Sox467 miles
Chicago Cubs478 miles

BetMGM Tennessee lists the Los Angeles Dodgers as the World Series favorite at +340. Atlanta is second at +425.

USA Today photo by Larry McCormack.

Nashville MLB Expansion Q&As



Christopher Boan writes for and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.