It is possible, not certain, that cities like these will come out better in an independent-league scenario, with more heated rivalries coming from genuine attempts to build rosters to win rather than develop.
I've had plenty of fine spectator experiences at ballparks that fail to meet the standards MiLB requires, even if those requirements meet MLB's needs. The vast majority of ballplayers will never reach the majors - embrace that reality.
Not buying all of this.
First, as I mentioned in another post, very few teams cut will be able to afford payroll costs associated with indy ball.
More importantly, though, the value of MiLB to MLB is not all about direct costs/revenues. It's an investment in assuring the continuation of generations of MLB fans in "flyover country" that MLB owners, executives and, frankly, fans who live in MLB cities don't give a damn about.
NFL and NBA teams can rely primarily (if not solely) on local fan bases to buy enough of their product (tickets, viewership, clothing, etc.) to cover the costs of doing business. NFL has to fill a stadium 8 times. They don't need flyover fans to do that.
But MLB teams need to sell (tickets and viewership) 81 home dates. Good luck doing that if you don't do enough to keep young fans engaged beyond a 30 mile radius of your ballpark.
Yes, MLB can save some direct expenses with this plan and we all know the vast majority of players affected weren't likely to even sniff a MLB clubhouse (though I'd argue a number of those players DO turn that experience into coaching/scouting/FO jobs that also benefit MLB teams).
But when you're a league with challenges retaining fan interest, as it is, do you really think it makes sense to give a significant portion of the population more reasons to not give a damn about your product?
Fans introduce their kids/grandkids to baseball by taking them to watch games. For much of the country, that means taking them to minor league games. Could that be done by taking them to HS or small college games? Yeah... but let's be honest. That isn't going to happen.
It's a risk MLB is clearly willing to take and maybe it's the right business decision. Only time will tell, of course. But don't be shocked if, a few years down the road, MLB is wondering why there are significantly fewer MLB fans in the flyover country they've abandoned.