Opposition to Eliminating Major League Baseball Teams

But If They Gotta Go, Let's Take Away Florida's Teams!

Between November 9 to November 13, 2001, Ipsos-Reid interviewed a representative sample of 1000 U.S. adults nationwide by telephone. The margin of error is +/- 3.1%. 52% of Americans, and 59% of baseball fans, call baseball contraction a bad plan. If a U.S. team must be eliminated in addition to Montreal's Expos, Americans agree: Take away Florida's teams. "By a wide margin, Americans agree that baseball's plan to contract by two teams is a bad idea (52%) rather than a good idea (30%). Among baseball's constituency, the 53% of Americans who say they are at least somewhat interested in baseball, the margin is even wider in opposition, with 59% opposed and only 33% in favor. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has a lot of explaining to do before America, and America's baseball fans, will come around to support the proposed action by the owners," reports Thomas Riehle, President, U.S. Public Affairs at Ipsos-Reid, the international polling firm. "If it has to happen, Americans agree-after eliminating the failed franchise in Montreal, the best candidate to be the second team eliminated would be one of the Florida-based baseball teams, either the Tampa Bay Devil Rays or the Florida Marlins. A total of only 21% would choose either the Kansas City Royals (12%) or the Minnesota Twins (9%) as the U.S. team to eliminate, while 22% would choose the Marlins and a whopping 35% have their sights aimed at the Devil Rays. With a total of 57% of all Americans (and 63% of those interested in baseball) choosing one of the Florida teams as the best candidate for elimination, the message is clear. The rest of America is saying, 'Florida, we are coming to take away one of your baseball teams,'" Riehle reports.

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