Why MLB should put a third team in New York

That might look like an overrepresentation again, but other factors mitigate in New York’s favor. For one thing, the people can afford to go to more games. New York’s average household income is 121 percent of the national average, while other contenders are far below that level: Portland has 108 percent, Charlotte has 94 percent, and Orlando has 87 percent. No major metro area without baseball has a higher median income than New York, other than Hartford, which is just outside New York and probably too small to support a team (it is the 42nd most populous metro area in the United States and Canada). New Yorkers can afford more baseball.

New York is also an area that indisputably supports baseball. The Yankees were sixth in MLB in attendance with 3.1 million in 2017. The Mets, despite an injury-plagued, lackluster season, were 14th in attendance and actually had a higher ratio of attendance per win than their American League rivals. Adding in the fans attending the minor league teams in Brooklyn and Staten Island, and the area as a whole has 5.8 million tickets sold, the fifth best attendance per team in MLB. That the Yankees and Mets both moved farm teams to the city suggests that even they know there is a greater appetite for baseball in New York than they alone can meet.

Even if that were divided among three teams without adding a single new fan, New York would be at about 80 percent of the league average in attendance per team.