ORLANDO, Fla. — The man who helped bring an NBA team to Orlando said Wednesday that he wants to bring a Major League Baseball team to the theme park mecca.
Pat Williams, a former executive with the NBA’s Orlando Magic, said that Orlando is more deserving than a half-dozen other cities that have been mentioned as homes to potential MLB expansion teams. Those markets are Charlotte, Las Vegas, Montreal, Nashville, Portland and Vancouver.
With a population of 2.5 million, metro Orlando also gets 75 million tourists each year. In addition to pro basketball, the region has professional men’s and women’s soccer teams.
“Orlando keeps growing and sports needs to be a part of that,” Williams said. “Our resume here is much stronger than those other markets.”
Williams’ desire may be a pipe dream since Florida already has two MLB teams with anemic attendance. The Miami Marlins and the Tampa Bay Rays, respectively, had the worst and second-to-worst attendance of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams this season.