SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Salt Lake City is a Western city favorite to receive one of the two coveted potential expansion teams in Major League Baseball, according to gambling odds.
Just last week, Big League Utah, a coalition of Utah leaders spearheaded by former Utah Jazz owner Gail Miller, announced their push to bring MLB to Salt Lake City. The announcement came with renders of a proposed stadium, built on the 100-acre lot on the city’s west side in the Rocky Mountain Power District.
Since the announcement, speculation of whether or not Salt Lake City could get an expansion team has grown. In 2022, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told ESPN he would love to bring the 30-team league to 32 teams – adding a new team in the east and another in the west.
An expansion team seems like the likely avenue for Salt Lake City to enter the major leagues in baseball, despite some clubs potentially being on the verge of relocation. For example, the Associated Press reported in 2022 that the Oakland Athletics could be on their way to Las Vegas.
According to bookies.com, the odds of Salt Lake City being the home of an expansion team is pretty decent compared to other Western cities. The betting odds site put Salt Lake City at a hypothetical +350. This means if a better put $100 down on Salt Lake City and won, they would receive $350 in return. The lower the return, the better the odds of winning.
Only two cities had better odds than Salt Lake: Nashville (+150) and Charlotte (+300) — both of which are likely to compete for a team in the east. Compared to other expansion team favorites in the west, bookies’ hypothetical expansion team odds for Salt Lake beat Portland (+375) and Las Vegas (+500).
It could be a long while until MLB is ready for expansion. The Portland Diamond Project has been pitching for MLB expansion since 2018 and, according to The Athletic, the league hasn’t started the formal process for expansion yet. The Athletic also mentions the league needing to settle stadium issues with the Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays before it can really focus on expanding.