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Portland and other MLB expansion name possibilities

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Carolina Blue Sox.

 

I'll wait for the flying objects to cease...

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15 hours ago, QueenCitySwarm said:

rant/

Really? You reduce Charlotte to an animal seen all over Eastern North America? You couldn't put any more thought into it? Not "promoting" the Knights identity? Not using Monarchs, as a reference to the Queen City? Not Drivers or Racers as a reference to NASCAR, whose home is in Charlotte? Not Firebirds, a reference to the beautiful statue seen in Charlotte? Not Dukes, also a reference to royalty, as well as a subtle nod to Duke Energy, a local company? No, you decided to just come up with the first "C" animal you could think of and roll with it. 

 

It really pains me to see people disregard Charlotte. The Knights lead all of Minor League Baseball in attendance, and have done so for four years in a row now, averaging 8,980 people a game, only about 2000 less than the Marlins, who play in a stadium about 26,000 seats larger and in a metro about 3.5 million people bigger. I honestly think Charlotte has the highest chance of landing an MLB team, through either relocation or expansion, especially since expansion doesn't seem to be happening for several years, giving BB&T Ballpark a chance to expire. 

 

Also, The whole "Carolina" branding is stupid and I hate that it comes up as a suggestion so often. It works for the Panthers because they do training camp in Spartanburg and football as a sport is much more regional, since getting professional teams for it can be tough. It doesn't work for the Canes because they do nothing in South Carolina except claim it as their own, and Raleigh is about 110 miles from the border, meaning it's difficult for SC citizens to get up to Raleigh for games. When Charlotte gets an MLB team, it will use "Charlotte" instead of "Carolina", I guarantee it. 

/rant

 

It's nothing personal, I just had to get some general feelings I had out. I really like the idea of the Timber Jacks, but I'm worried that it sounds too "minor-league".

Question, in reference to Charlotte...is BB&T Ballpark expandable for MLB?

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15 hours ago, QueenCitySwarm said:

rant/

Really? You reduce Charlotte to an animal seen all over Eastern North America? You couldn't put any more thought into it? Not "promoting" the Knights identity? Not using Monarchs, as a reference to the Queen City? Not Drivers or Racers as a reference to NASCAR, whose home is in Charlotte? Not Firebirds, a reference to the beautiful statue seen in Charlotte? Not Dukes, also a reference to royalty, as well as a subtle nod to Duke Energy, a local company? No, you decided to just come up with the first "C" animal you could think of and roll with it. 

 

It really pains me to see people disregard Charlotte. The Knights lead all of Minor League Baseball in attendance, and have done so for four years in a row now, averaging 8,980 people a game, only about 2000 less than the Marlins, who play in a stadium about 26,000 seats larger and in a metro about 3.5 million people bigger. I honestly think Charlotte has the highest chance of landing an MLB team, through either relocation or expansion, especially since expansion doesn't seem to be happening for several years, giving BB&T Ballpark a chance to expire. 

 

Also, The whole "Carolina" branding is stupid and I hate that it comes up as a suggestion so often. It works for the Panthers because they do training camp in Spartanburg and football as a sport is much more regional, since getting professional teams for it can be tough. It doesn't work for the Canes because they do nothing in South Carolina except claim it as their own, and Raleigh is about 110 miles from the border, meaning it's difficult for SC citizens to get up to Raleigh for games. When Charlotte gets an MLB team, it will use "Charlotte" instead of "Carolina", I guarantee it. 

/rant

 

It's nothing personal, I just had to get some general feelings I had out. I really like the idea of the Timber Jacks, but I'm worried that it sounds too "minor-league".

 

This reminds me of a quote I saw in an article about Charlotte's mix of ambition and insecurity, from the height of the Cold War: "The best way to summarize Charlotte is to say that if the Russians bomb us and the first wave of bombs that comes over doesn't include one for Charlotte, people here would be very much disappointed."

 

That being said, I love Charlotte (I'm married to a native Charlottean and probably going to live there at some point) and I agree that it could be a fine MLB market; to add to your points about the Knights' success, there's lots of bank headquarters to fill up the luxury suites, no local summertime competition from other pro teams (unless Tepper can get an MLS franchise first), and nice weather throughout the baseball season and postseason. I think they'd run up against some of the same issues people brought up for other markets with transplants not adopting the team, but I don't know if they're any better or worse than the other candidates in that regard.

 

Bringing it back to the name/branding topic, I would be curious to see statistical or even anecdotal evidence that a Charlotte team identity would be a substantive turn-off to people in other parts of North Carolina, or in South Carolina, as compared to a more broad Carolina name. Is it possible that the Panthers are so big regionally because people love football and they'd be just as popular if they were the Charlotte Panthers?

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If we’re talking about a expanding into the Carolinas, I hope that whatever group emerges doesn’t revive the plan from when Polhad considered selling the Twins to Mike Solomon and other NC investors.

 

mlb%20in%20nc%20blueprint_1499792318606_

 

The idea deal was to build in Greensboro, in the middle of farmland. Needless to say, this ridiculously stupid idea (if you’re from the area, please correct me if I’m wrong) failed at the ballot and the Twins remained in Minnesota.

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4 hours ago, AstroBull21 said:

Question, in reference to Charlotte...is BB&T Ballpark expandable for MLB?

 

bb-t-ballpark.jpg

 

No. Not at all, and it's why "MLB to Charlotte" speculation is particularly annoying to me. Without a privately-funded ballpark, it's not going to happen within the next 20 years. BB&T Ballpark cost $54 million, $16 million of which was taxpayer funded. No way citizens are going to vote to pony up $500 million (and that's an incredibly conservative figure) for a MLB stadium anytime soon. BofA (Panthers) will get major publicly-funded upgrades long before an MLB stadium.

 

Would Charlotte be a good MLB market? I don't know - maybe? But that's an irrelevant question unless there's a ballpark. Which there won't be, until 2035 at the earliest.

 

Charlotte only gets brought up because it's in the "Big 4 cities that don't have an MLB team" category.

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2 hours ago, SFGiants58 said:

If we’re talking about a expanding into the Carolinas, I hope that whatever group emerges doesn’t revive the plan from when Polhad considered selling the Twins to Mike Solomon and other NC investors.

 

mlb%20in%20nc%20blueprint_1499792318606_

 

The idea deal was to build in Greensboro, in the middle of farmland. Needless to say, this ridiculously stupid idea (if you’re from the area, please correct me if I’m wrong) failed at the ballot and the Twins remained in Minnesota.

 

I live in Greensboro, and yes, that would've been a horrendous idea. That particular site is just outside of Kernersville, a suburb of just under 25,000, between Winston-Salem and Greensboro. It's a 20-25 minute drive from both downtown Winston-Salem and downtown Greensboro.

 

The Piedmont Triad (Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point) is home to upwards of 1.5 million residents, which isn't anything to sneeze at, but it's entirely too spread out to get the daily type of attendance you'd need for an MLB team. And, as we've seen, rural/suburban baseball stadiums aren't exactly optimal for attendance. There would be absolute minimal draw from Charlotte (~90 minutes), Durham (~1 hour), and Raleigh (~90 minutes), especially for weekday/weeknight games.

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8 minutes ago, sc49erfan15 said:

 

bb-t-ballpark.jpg

 

No. Not at all, and it's why "MLB to Charlotte" speculation is particularly annoying to me. Without a privately-funded ballpark, it's not going to happen within the next 20 years. BB&T Ballpark cost $54 million, $16 million of which was taxpayer funded. No way citizens are going to vote to pony up $500 million (and that's an incredibly conservative figure) for a MLB stadium anytime soon. BofA (Panthers) will get major publicly-funded upgrades long before an MLB stadium.

 

Would Charlotte be a good MLB market? I don't know - maybe? But that's an irrelevant question unless there's a ballpark. Which there won't be, until 2035 at the earliest.

 

Charlotte only gets brought up because it's in the "Big 4 cities that don't have an MLB team" category.

Thanks for the info, i had always thought Charlotte as a solid consideration until the new Knights ballpark was constructed.

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2 minutes ago, AstroBull21 said:

Thanks for the info, i had always thought Charlotte as a solid consideration until the new Knights ballpark was constructed.

 

It sounds good on paper, but with the construction of BB&T Ballpark, Charlotte doubled down on AAA baseball for the foreseeable future.

 

The old Knights Stadium, in suburban Fort Mill, SC (pop. ~35,000) was expandable to MLB standards... but no MLB team came calling. One of the problems there was location as well - the area has grown considerably since the park was built in 1990, but it's still a bit of a hike for consistent MLB attendance. The Knights had attendance issues in that stadium for as long as I can remember, and those attendance issues were largely due to the stadium's location. 

 

20309553_BG1.jpg

 

That's the best aerial view I can find of the old stadium (apologies for image size), but it shows the expandable quality. Nothing around but trees. This link gives you an idea of what's around and its distance from Charlotte city center.

 

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19 minutes ago, sc49erfan15 said:

 

I live in Greensboro, and yes, that would've been a horrendous idea. That particular site is just outside of Kernersville, a suburb of just under 25,000, between Winston-Salem and Greensboro. It's a 20-25 minute drive from both downtown Winston-Salem and downtown Greensboro.

 

The Piedmont Triad (Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point) is home to upwards of 1.5 million residents, which isn't anything to sneeze at, but it's entirely too spread out to get the daily type of attendance you'd need for an MLB team. And, as we've seen, rural/suburban baseball stadiums aren't exactly optimal for attendance. There would be absolute minimal commutes from Charlotte (~90 minutes), Durham (~1 hour), and Raleigh (~90 minutes), especially for weekday/weeknight games.

 

That makes sense. Thanks for the clarification!

 

I was getting some serious Richfield Colliseum vibes from that proposal. 

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3 minutes ago, SFGiants58 said:

 

That makes sense. Thanks for the clarification!

 

I was getting some serious Richfield Colliseum vibes from that proposal. 

 

It's not quite that rural, but it's suburban at best.

 

Put it this way - the airport is closer to Greensboro's city center than that stadium would've been. The Twins would've been trying to leave within 5 seasons.

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3 hours ago, Waffles said:

This reminds me of a quote I saw in an article about Charlotte's mix of ambition and insecurity, from the height of the Cold War: "The best way to summarize Charlotte is to say that if the Russians bomb us and the first wave of bombs that comes over doesn't include one for Charlotte, people here would be very much disappointed."

 

I've never heard that before, and I love it. It's perfect.

 

Quote

Bringing it back to the name/branding topic, I would be curious to see statistical or even anecdotal evidence that a Charlotte team identity would be a substantive turn-off to people in other parts of North Carolina, or in South Carolina, as compared to a more broad Carolina name. Is it possible that the Panthers are so big regionally because people love football and they'd be just as popular if they were the Charlotte Panthers?

 

I think it's more of a function of NFL being much more "commutable" than MLB, NBA, or NHL. It's feasible to commute from just about anywhere in the Carolinas for a Panthers game. Not so much for the Hornets or Hurricanes. I've lived in various parts of the Carolinas for 30 years (Charlotte metro, central/Pee Dee South Carolina, upstate South Carolina, and Piedmont Triad of North Carolina), and this is anecdotal evidence, but I've observed that the Panthers have a much stronger following throughout both states. I'd regularly see Panthers gear being worn throughout South Carolina - not so much for Hornets or Hurricanes. I barely see Hornets gear in Greensboro, and it's only 90 minutes away.

 

Basically, if they were the Charlotte Panthers, Carolina Hornets, or Raleigh Hurricanes, I don't think there would be a huge difference in their following - but I don't have any data to back that up.

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4 hours ago, Waffles said:

 

This reminds me of a quote I saw in an article about Charlotte's mix of ambition and insecurity, from the height of the Cold War: "The best way to summarize Charlotte is to say that if the Russians bomb us and the first wave of bombs that comes over doesn't include one for Charlotte, people here would be very much disappointed."

 

That being said, I love Charlotte (I'm married to a native Charlottean and probably going to live there at some point) and I agree that it could be a fine MLB market; to add to your points about the Knights' success, there's lots of bank headquarters to fill up the luxury suites, no local summertime competition from other pro teams (unless Tepper can get an MLS franchise first), and nice weather throughout the baseball season and postseason. I think they'd run up against some of the same issues people brought up for other markets with transplants not adopting the team, but I don't know if they're any better or worse than the other candidates in that regard.

 

Bringing it back to the name/branding topic, I would be curious to see statistical or even anecdotal evidence that a Charlotte team identity would be a substantive turn-off to people in other parts of North Carolina, or in South Carolina, as compared to a more broad Carolina name. Is it possible that the Panthers are so big regionally because people love football and they'd be just as popular if they were the Charlotte Panthers?

That quote fits perfectly. The people around here (me included) seem to have a need to prove themselves and the city, plus we compare ourselves to Atlanta all the time. 

 

As for the Charlotte/Carolina thing, that's my opinion on the matter, yes. I think football just has the regional connectivity that other sports don't have, so the Carolina Panthers work, while the Carolina Hurricanes don't.

1 hour ago, AstroBull21 said:

Thanks for the info, i had always thought Charlotte as a solid consideration until the new Knights ballpark was constructed.

The biggest issue is 100% the stadium we just built. If we didn't have it, or if it was expandable, we'd be number one for everyone's list, but the city stupidly decided to go along with the plan. It's a beautiful stadium, and I hope the eventual MLB park adopts the same style (as well as uptown location). 

1 hour ago, sc49erfan15 said:

 

It sounds good on paper, but with the construction of BB&T Ballpark, Charlotte doubled down on AAA baseball for the foreseeable future.

 

The old Knights Stadium, in suburban Fort Mill, SC (pop. ~35,000) was expandable to MLB standards... but no MLB team came calling. One of the problems there was location as well - the area has grown considerably since the park was built in 1990, but it's still a bit of a hike for consistent MLB attendance. The Knights had attendance issues in that stadium for as long as I can remember, and those attendance issues were largely due to the stadium's location. 

 

20309553_BG1.jpg

 

That's the best aerial view I can find of the old stadium (apologies for image size), but it shows the expandable quality. Nothing around but trees. This link gives you an idea of what's around and its distance from Charlotte city center.

 

I wouldn't doubt the ability of a Southern city council wanting to prove itself on the national stage. The council bypassed the voters on Spectrum Center, and if we got an opportunity for an MLB team, I'd say the odds are pretty good the council does it regardless of what the voters say.

 

That said, the Fort Mill location was stupid anyway. They were there for what, 20 or so years? Then they move to Uptown, and all of a sudden, they're leading all MiLB! That's part of why I hope any MLB team places the stadium Uptown for now, and I think it would outdraw many older franchises (and would be nowhere close to the disaster that is the Marlins or Rays).

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54 minutes ago, sc49erfan15 said:

Basically, if they were the Charlotte Panthers, Carolina Hornets, or Raleigh Hurricanes, I don't think there would be a huge difference in their following - but I don't have any data to back that up.

 

I think it's overblown a bit. There were Washington Redskins fans in North Carolina before the Panthers existed because that was the closest team to them. I don't think people in Providence would feel that much different rooting for the Boston Patriots. It's already accepted that people tend to root for the closest team to them, whether they are a few minutes or a few hours from that team's city limits.

 

 

6 hours ago, McCall said:

Carolina Blue Sox.

 

I'll wait for the flying objects to cease...

 

That's pretty clever if the color scheme includes Carolina Blue, which it absolutely must.

 

 

1 hour ago, sc49erfan15 said:

 

bb-t-ballpark.jpg

 

No. Not at all, and it's why "MLB to Charlotte" speculation is particularly annoying to me. Without a privately-funded ballpark, it's not going to happen within the next 20 years. BB&T Ballpark cost $54 million, $16 million of which was taxpayer funded. No way citizens are going to vote to pony up $500 million (and that's an incredibly conservative figure) for a MLB stadium anytime soon. BofA (Panthers) will get major publicly-funded upgrades long before an MLB stadium.

 

Would Charlotte be a good MLB market? I don't know - maybe? But that's an irrelevant question unless there's a ballpark. Which there won't be, until 2035 at the earliest.

 

Charlotte only gets brought up because it's in the "Big 4 cities that don't have an MLB team" category.

 

 

What's it at now, about 10,000 seats? If they can get it up to 28,000- 30,000, they'll be good. Smaller stadiums seem to be the direction nowadays anyway. Just needs to be privately-funded, I guess.

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3 hours ago, daveindc said:

 

I think it's overblown a bit. There were Washington Redskins fans in North Carolina before the Panthers existed because that was the closest team to them. I don't think people in Providence would feel that much different rooting for the Boston Patriots. It's already accepted that people tend to root for the closest team to them, whether they are a few minutes or a few hours from that team's city limits.

 

 

 

That's pretty clever if the color scheme includes Carolina Blue, which it absolutely must.

 

 

 

 

What's it at now, about 10,000 seats? If they can get it up to 28,000- 30,000, they'll be good. Smaller stadiums seem to be the direction nowadays anyway. Just needs to be privately-funded, I guess.

Well, the problem is it's a whole city block, as in, there are streets all around it. It's quite literally non-expandable without digging into the outfield. 

 

Seen here.

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6 hours ago, sc49erfan15 said:

 

bb-t-ballpark.jpg

 

 

Playing right field at sunset is probably miserable, unless the humidity hazes out the glare. 

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1 hour ago, QueenCitySwarm said:

Well, the problem is it's a whole city block, as in, there are streets all around it. It's quite literally non-expandable without digging into the outfield. 

 

Seen here.

 

 

I'm just used to seeing streets closed and new ones built with all the major development here in DC, especially around Nats Park. Would it be possible to build over that portion of Mint St outside of right field? Maybe expand the next street over? No clue if any of that is possible. Just fantasizing looking at the pictures.

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17 hours ago, daveindc said:

 

 

I'm just used to seeing streets closed and new ones built with all the major development here in DC, especially around Nats Park. Would it be possible to build over that portion of Mint St outside of right field? Maybe expand the next street over? No clue if any of that is possible. Just fantasizing looking at the pictures.

Well Romare Bearden Park is right across the street, making expanding across South Mint impossible, unless we closed the park, which will not happen. If anything, I guess we could build over Graham, basically eating the parking lot that's there now. However, that would encompass taking an apartment building, as well as basically rebuilding the stadium. BB&T Ballpark was just not built for expansion, and it's really hurting the city now.

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On 2/18/2019 at 10:08 AM, McCall said:

Carolina Blue Sox.

 

I'll wait for the flying objects to cease...

 I have a fake/fantasy team with that exact name. 😀

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On 2/18/2019 at 11:08 AM, McCall said:

Carolina Blue Sox.

 

I'll wait for the flying objects to cease...

 

It'd be a great name... if you wanted to alienate a solid 60-70% of your fan base.

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