Coppola: Is There Enough Magic in Orlando for MLB?

Orlando Magic co-founder Pat Williams held a press conference to announce his campaign to bring an expansion MLB team to the city of Orlando. The proposed name for the team would be the Orlando Dreamers, Yikes!

Social media has had a field day with this. Calling it a stunt, a joke and everything comical that can be said about his proposal. The name is laughable as well as the thought of another baseball team in a state that is only interested in NASCAR and college football. Plus it is just too darn expensive for the large population of retired transplants who populate the state.

Whenever I do a game at Tropicana Field (Location: St. Petersburg not Tampa) I am greeted by the amazingly friendly people who work there. From the parking lot attendants and security people to one of the best media staff in the press box who work for the Rays. I love watching games there. But I’m not a Rays fan.

It becomes painful when the game starts and I see so many empty seats. I can hear the people that are in attendance talking and ordering food as well as cheering for their Rays. Though sometimes when the Yankees or Red Sox are in town, those visiting team’s fans occupy more seats.

I have always had this idea that if somehow the Tampa Bay Rays could be purchased by the Disney Corp. and moved to Orlando they could put more fannies in the seats. Disney never loses money and in my opinion would bring a bigger package to the whole baseball park experience.

Think of all the people their theme park draws in the summer months who would now have another option when vacationing in that area. Orlando is bigger than Tampa and is already set up to host millions of visitors. Notice I haven’t mentioned Floridians. That is because baseball can never compete with the sports they support. So let’s leave them out of the mix for now.

To me this could be a win-win for both baseball and the city of Orlando. Oh and that other team in Miami? Maybe Mr. Jeter can move them to Detroit. A National League team in the Motor City would be great for that city. LA, Chicago, N.Y. Oakland/San Francisco and now Detroit. Those fans would get to enjoy both leagues. Another large group of fans who would argue about the DH.

Just the names will be a challenge. The Detroit Wheels? The Orlando Snowbirds? The Orlando Senior Citizens? Well, those two cities would have to get a team first and that my friends is not going to happen in our lifetime.

And Disney getting involved? They just kicked the Braves out to their ESPN complex. The Braves were forced to go to the west coast of Florida for their spring training and player development center. Disney makes more money on softball and gymnastic tournaments and could care less about getting involved with baseball. And after all, we all know that it’s all about the money.

You’re more likely to be killed by a falling coconut in the Bronx than seeing any of this happen.

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