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MLB commissioner sees Las Vegas as ‘viable alternative’ for team

With Las Vegas expected to gain an NHL expansion franchise on Wednesday and the Raiders discussing a possible move from Oakland to near The Strip, would Major League Baseball ever consider a franchise in Southern Nevada?

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said yes on Tuesday.

“I think the (discussion) ‘You can’t go to Vegas because there’s casinos there,’ we passed that by a long time ago, right? There are casinos all over the place,” Manfred said on “The Michael Kay Show” on the YES Network. “I see Las Vegas as a viable alternative. I would not disqualify it just because of the gambling issue.”

Manfred said had said as recently as April that Major League Baseball might be considering expansion to 32 teams in the near future.

Las Vegas currently has a member of the Pacific Coast League — the Triple-A 51s, who have been seeking a new stadium and a possible move to Summerlin for the last three years.

Any bid for an expansion franchise in Las Vegas would require a baseball-only stadium that seats at least 35,000. Currently, the smallest MLB park is Oakland Coliseum, which has been reconfigured to seat 35,067. Cleveland’s Progressive Field was downsized this season to seat 35,225, making it one of seven MLB stadiums to seat less than 40,000.

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