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Charlotte MLB Team Speculation

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What is the metro population for Charlotte? The paper says 1.4 million, but I find that hard to believe(I thought the Triangle was around 1.4 million). Other sources list it at just over 2 million...

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What is the metro population for Charlotte? The paper says 1.4 million, but I find that hard to believe(I thought the Triangle was around 1.4 million). Other sources list it at just over 2 million...

There is a pinned top in this from called Charlotte Area Statistics that explains everything you would want to know about this.

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From what has been said, Portland is too rainy for MLB.

That means every city east of Denver is too rainy for baseball then. Charlotte gets a heck of a lot more rain during the baseball season as Portland.

Portland gets 12.07 inches of rain on average Apr-Oct. Only the MLB cities in CA, CO, & AZ get less.

It also doesn't have an urban region large enough to attract enough ticket buyers.

Sure it does.

Edited by Sundodger

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I wonder how Mr. Beaver feels about now? To know that Parks Helms (his biggest supporter) would drop him in a second for MLB......I'd be rethinking spending $37M of my own money on a minor-league park if I was the Knights.

Is that true? I saw Parks on the news and he seemed pretty dismissive of this whole MLB thing. Maybe he's not a Marlins fan. Or maybe Beaver walked into the room right as they started taping.

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I think the whole reason for having the planned retractable roof is for when it rains.

It'd be helpful for when it rains, but the main reason for the retractable roof is so the venue could host basketball tournaments and other large events.

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I think that while we may get more rain in inches than Portland we actually spend less time under rainy conditions. Most of the time during summer our rain hits in short sudden monsoon like bursts for only an hour or so and then we go back to sunny conditions while Portland's rain is lighter and more constant throughout the day.

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I think that while we may get more rain in inches than Portland we actually spend less time under rainy conditions. Most of the time during summer our rain hits in short sudden monsoon like bursts for only an hour or so and then we go back to sunny conditions while Portland's rain is lighter and more constant throughout the day.

That isn't Portland's weather, we are talking Portland, OR, not Portland, ME. Portland doesn't get much rain at all during the summer. The rain in the PNW is seasonal; wet and mild winters, dry summers with no or low humidity. It goes weeks without rain. No thundershowers, nothing.

Edited by Sundodger

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Any recent news on getting Mlb in Charlotte.....A stadium with a retractible roof could also put us back in the Ncaa Final Four Basketball picture again!

Don't know about the stadium, but I did read today that it is expected that 10% of professional sports teams in the four major leagues will change hands over the next three years due to owners seeing their net worth plummet in the past year, thus looking to unload their teams to raise cash. The NYTimes is one of those badly suffering owners and just put their stake in the Boston Red Sux on the block.

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I did this this unscientifically, and for fun: This is how regional influence would shape fanbase for the 30 MLB teams. Assuming everyone in the region was a fan of their local team (and also not noting transplants and out of town fans), check out the concentrated areas, and the areas where there are obvious deficiencies for MLB. I'm sure this isn't groundbreaking - like I said, I did this because it was slow today.

usamapzk2.jpg

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Cool map, does seem like if there ever is a time (probably not any time soon though) that we are a pretty good area (at least in the running) for them to spread to.

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Cool map, does seem like if there ever is a time (probably not any time soon though) that we are a pretty good area (at least in the running) for them to spread to.

Common Census has pretty good sports maps that show fan bases.

mlb_640.gif

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I'd like to see an MLB team here as much as the next person, but 2 major league sports teams plus Nascar and the PGA tournament have this area maxed out for the forseeable future. I think we're 10+ years away still from being able to support MLB from a population standpoint. I have heard rumors though that once the Wachovia Tournament contract runs out in 2012 or 2013 (I could be mistaken on the year), Quail Hollow will not renew the tournament. This is because they are looking to get PGA major, most likely the PGA Championship. I believe 2014 and 2017 are open. However, back to MLB... I think in the next 5 years you will see an MLB team relocate. Probably one of the two Florida franchises b/c of their stadium issues and lack of revenue. The Rays make the most sense since the National league has the Braves nearby and the closest AL franchise is the Orioles.

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Personally I think Charlotte could support an MLB team. But in my humble view, Portland will get a team first. Even though the two cities are of similar size, Portland looks like a safer bet.

It's been mentioned before: MLB engenders it's own sports culture. It tends to pull in people that never watched baseball before. I saw it with my own eyes when I first moved to Seattle. A team in Charlotte might well end up being more successful than projections can measure.

Edited by Charlotteman

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Interesting how city affinity on Common Census corresponds with tv markets. For instance, Richmond County identifies with Charlotte, whereas neighboring Scotland County identifies with Raleigh, mirroring the tv markets.

Also, I find it interesting that according to Common Census, despite the ascendency of the Panthers, eastern North Carolina still thinks of the Washington Redskins as the Home Team. Amazing.

Edited by DCMetroRaleigh

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^Isn't it all interrelated though? If your town is between two participating cities, and your local TV station plays only one of those teams - you will have more access to that team and probably gravitate toward them. So really, TV markets dictate our interests. A horrible notion.

Oh and I didn't mean to bring this topic back up to discuss whether Charlotte would/could get team. I was merely interested in looking at under-served markets. I agree with the idea that Portland, OR would get a team before us - luckily, expansion comes in even numbers (relocation doesn't). IF Portland expanded, can anyone else see a second city other than Charlotte?

Edited by The Escapists

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Oh and I didn't mean to bring this topic back up to discuss whether Charlotte would/could get team. I was merely interested in looking at under-served markets. I agree with the idea that Portland, OR would get a team before us - luckily, expansion comes in even numbers (relocation doesn't). IF Portland expanded, can anyone else see a second city other than Charlotte?

I know San Antonio always seems to be on the short list for an MLB team. My gut says that they would be the other choice if 2 teams were to be added and Portland was the other. But I think an expansion of MLB teams isn't happening anytime soon. They don't want to be like the NHL which overexpanded and as a result has numerous teams in deep financial trouble. Phoenix, Florida, Atlanta and Columbus I know are on that list. Don't be surprised if there is contraction or relocation back to Canada for the NHL.

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^Isn't it all interrelated though? If your town is between two participating cities, and your local TV station plays only one of those teams - you will have more access to that team and probably gravitate toward them. So really, TV markets dictate our interests. A horrible notion.

Oh and I didn't mean to bring this topic back up to discuss whether Charlotte would/could get team. I was merely interested in looking at under-served markets. I agree with the idea that Portland, OR would get a team before us - luckily, expansion comes in even numbers (relocation doesn't). IF Portland expanded, can anyone else see a second city other than Charlotte?

I can't say I'm much of a baseball fan, but my friends who are say MLB is more likely to contract than expand in the foreseeable future (and I think that means 20+ years). I'd love to see a team in Charlotte and personally don't think any sports marketing person has a clue at this point how likely Charlotte is to get a team or not. About 20 years ago, a team was threatening to move to Charlotte (I believe at the time it was the Twins) and all the marketing experts were saying Charlotte was 10 years away from being able to support a team. Then when Toronto was first talking about moving (I believe it was Toronto), Charlotte came up as a possible city. Again, all the experts were saying we were 10 years away from being able to support a team. Now, many people parrot that exact same opinion when anyone talks about Charlotte getting a team.

No one really knows, but the ones who have PROVEN they don't know anything are the experts who are off by about 2 decades now from their initial predictions. Baseball existed for many, many years in markets much smaller than Charlotte is now. Right now our TV market is already larger than Baltimore, San Diego, Kansas City, Cincinnati, and Milwaukee. We are virtually the same size as Pittsburgh and I would think are closing in rapidly on St. Louis. I think we'd be fine if MLB decided to relocate (or expand assuming the above comments are incorrect) here.

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I can't say I'm much of a baseball fan, but my friends who are say MLB is more likely to contract than expand in the foreseeable future (and I think that means 20+ years). I'd love to see a team in Charlotte and personally don't think any sports marketing person has a clue at this point how likely Charlotte is to get a team or not. About 20 years ago, a team was threatening to move to Charlotte (I believe at the time it was the Twins) and all the marketing experts were saying Charlotte was 10 years away from being able to support a team. Then when Toronto was first talking about moving (I believe it was Toronto), Charlotte came up as a possible city. Again, all the experts were saying we were 10 years away from being able to support a team. Now, many people parrot that exact same opinion when anyone talks about Charlotte getting a team.

No one really knows, but the ones who have PROVEN they don't know anything are the experts who are off by about 2 decades now from their initial predictions. Baseball existed for many, many years in markets much smaller than Charlotte is now. Right now our TV market is already larger than Baltimore, San Diego, Kansas City, Cincinnati, and Milwaukee. We are virtually the same size as Pittsburgh and I would think are closing in rapidly on St. Louis. I think we'd be fine if MLB decided to relocate (or expand assuming the above comments are incorrect) here.

Just to clarify, it was after the 1997 season when the Twins were rumored to being close to moving to the Triad area, so it was about 11 years ago.

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Just to clarify, it was after the 1997 season when the Twins were rumored to being close to moving to the Triad area, so it was about 11 years ago.

Thanks for the clarification.

I don't remember specifically which years each of these possible moves were mentioned. I know that the first time I heard the "10 years away" statement was sometime prior to 1995. Then again with the Twins. At first, Charlotte was mentioned as their possible relocation spot. That eventually became the Triad, and they voted down a tax to help pay for a stadium. It came up again with Toronto, before they eventually moved to DC (I think I have that right). The point is, Charlotte has been perpetually "10 years away" from being able to support MLB since the very early 1990's at least. Those lay people who continue to spout that quote, are simply regurgitating what they've read.

Yes, Charlotte would be one of the smaller markets. Yes, Charlotte has many other sports options pulling at peoples descretionary spending. Yes, there are other cities in America that might be in a better position to support MLB. I don't think anyone is really arguing otherwise.

But, given the fact that if a team announced today they were going to relocate to Charlotte, it almost certainly wouldn't be before the 2010 season simply because its so close to the 2009 season. On top of that, it would take 2-3 seasons to get a stadium built here, which means they'd either stay put that much longer or find a temp. place to play (I don't even have a suggestion for that since I'm not a baseball fan). I know that football stadiums and baseball stadiums have shared space in the past (although not ideally). Furthermore, the "NEW" of an MLB franchise in Charlotte would carry the team one or two seasons I would think (perhaps three). At that point, you're talking 5-6 years from now. Lets say Charlotte IS 10 years from being able to support MLB. The above scenario takes you out 6 years. So, they have lower attendence in years 7-9. Then magic year 10 is here. I don't really see the big deal in that. Given some teams terrible attendence, I'd have to believe Charlotte could at least match that in years 7-9. Remember, the team would draw from parts of Va, NC, SC and TN. I realize MLB has a long schedule, with many of those games through the week. But, they don't have the same number of weekday, afternoon games they used to have. I just don't think it would be as difficult as some want to suggest.

The sports marketing guys who say Charlotte isn't ready, would flip-flop on that so fast it would make you dizzy if they were the ones hired by someone to help bring a team to Charlotte. Suddenly they could tell you 50 reasons why MLB would be a perfect fit for Charlotte.

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^Nice analysis Jed.

Not to mention that it especially tough to absorb a new team in the midst of this horrible economic downturn.

My guess is Portland gets the next team, and it will likely be from a relocation, as any expansion will be postponed for several years until the economy improves. I predict that North Carolina (likely Charlotte over Raleigh) will get a team by 2015 and that it will also be a relocation of a team from a shrinking population city, like Pittsburgh, where baseball has always taken a backseat to football.

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