Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed John Loar, the managing director of Music City Baseball to the newsmakers line to discuss his plans for Major League baseball in Nashville.
Leahy: We are delighted to welcome on our newsmaker line John Loar the managing director of Music City Baseball. Welcome John. Thanks for joining us this morning.
Loar: Yeah, I’m here. Can you hear me?
Leahy: We can hear you John. Thanks so much for coming on on to the Tennessee Star Report this morning. At some point, we’ll have you here in studio for a full hour, but we wanted to get started here with a half-hour on the phone. So you’re a very interesting guy John. We have something in common. You moved here what late 2019 from the San Francisco Bay area. Is that right?
Loar: Yeah, that’s correct. I moved here on July 1, 2018.
Leahy: Oh, okay. Good. Welcome!
Loar: There you go. Thank you.
Leahy: So you actually have a very extensive background in business, quite impressive. you were for a period of time from 1987 to 1988 you were the vice president of Blackhawk Corporation, which developed master-planned gated communities in Contra Costa County in Riverside California. I remember those communities in Contra Costa. I used to live in the Bay Area.
Loar: Where did you live?
Leahy: I went to Stanford Business School. And then I lived in San Mateo for a period of time lived in Palo Alto and then lived in Sonoma. But I had a business that provided home security services and we often went there and had a couple customers I think in your Blackhawk Community. It was beautiful there. And always very impressive.
The other little thing that to you and I have in common, I love baseball. I absolutely love baseball. When I lived in the Bay Area many years ago I did play a men’s senior league and we traveled around to play in San Mateo he went up to Concord. We went all over the place and I was always a good field no-hit kind of guy, you know.
Loar: Yeah, we all play a little bit of that senior league ball.
Leahy: Did you play senior league ball?
Loar: It ends for everybody at some point. (Leahy laughs)
Leahy: Did you play baseball? Are you a baseball guy?
Loar: I played yes. I played baseball years ago. I’ve got a you know kind of a long background in just on the business side of it on just working on a couple of acquisitions on baseball and we kind of got involved with that with Tony La Russa and Tony’s also from the Bay Area.
Leahy: So then you came to Nashville you have a vision now having said all this, A I love baseball. I love watching baseball. I love playing baseball when I could play baseball. I still occasionally go to the batting cages and see if I can hit. (Loar chuckles) But it’s not necessarily the prettiest sight but I enjoy doing it. (Chuckles) And we go to the AAA Nashville Sounds. They have a beautiful stadium here most of it financed by taxpayers. So my big question to you John and you’ve been at this for some time. Number one, does the world need another Major League Baseball franchise? And number two, can Nashville support it?
Loar: Yeah, I mean those are both good questions. I think if you look at the Nashville market and kind of what’s happened over the years historically I did a study of markets throughout the United States and two markets internationally and to in just Mexico and in Montreal about the potential of either relocation or expansion specifically in baseball.
I think with what’s happened in Nashville and the growth in Nashville as we’ve all seen it and experienced ever since I’ve been here, I think you know, the question is can it can support another fourth professional team. And I think part of why Nashville works I think is just the fact that a lot of people come from outside the county and certainly outside these in the area and outside the state to be a part of the experience in Tennessee and in Nashville here.
And you’ve seen that at the Predators games and the Titans games as well. And I think it’s just that when the schedules come out people put Nashville on their calendar and show up here to participate in that. So I think from that standpoint it can. The question is really can it be supported from a corporate standpoint. And I think what we’ve been doing for the last two of the three years we’ve been working on our business plan is to just do a feasibility analysis.
Leahy: And if you can hang through the break with us John. And when we come back we want to learn about that feasibility analysis with the corporate support of Major League Baseball and Nashville.
Listen to the full second hour here:
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