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ERJ170

Raleigh with a Pro-Football Team?

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Looks like a new football league is eye-ing Raleigh for a team.

Raleigh-Durham has to vie against:

Austin, Birmingham, Columbus, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Memphis, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Sacramento, and San Antonio

for a coveted professional football team.

The league is called the United Football League and will initially consist of 8 teams. Expected launch is August 2008. Currently, no location for play is mentioned for Raleigh.

In order for Raleigh-Durham to be considered, you have to pre-reserve tickets at www.ticketreserve.com and the cities with the highest reservations get the highest consideration.

Raleigh-Durham has not had a professional football team since 2001 Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks.

I say, if they have a naming contest, they should be called the "Carolina Blues" and have Duke Blue and Carolina Blue as their colors..

If they pick Raleigh, the area will have a semi-professional baseball team, men's soccer team, women's soccer team, hockey team, and football team.

So, what do you think? Could basketball be next?

Link: http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/storie...tml?jst=b_ln_hl

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The market is too saturated at this point to maintain another pro franchise. The Triangle population is just not sufficient to sustain this. I would say that NC as a whole is a saturated pro-sports market with the NHL, NBA, and NFL.

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The Carollina Blues playing in Carter Finley Stadium would be ironic.

I don't see this league being a success, so Raleigh should stay out of it. No reason to be associated with failure. The Triangle area is a saturated sports market because of college sports, not anything in Charlotte.

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The market is too saturated at this point to maintain another pro franchise. The Triangle population is just not sufficient to sustain this. I would say that NC as a whole is a saturated pro-sports market with the NHL, NBA, and NFL.

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I disagree that this area is saturated with pro teams. If you go and look at some of the other cities of comparable size out there (Buffalo, Cincinnatti, Minneapolis, Tampa, Pittsburgh come to mind) you will see that many of them have more than one pro franchise for one thing. This is also a new league, which means that loyalties for a person's NFL team would not conflict with the team in Raleigh. This area is also growing rapidly, so the worries of a "small market" are minimal. I also have alot of faith in the abilities of the big wigs from Google, considering how they took a small search engine and turned it into the monster it is today with their armada of creativity and talent. For that matter, the way they are picking cities with ticket purchasing sounds like something Google would do. I also think that the owner of a major franchise coming into the picture could create a domino effect with other major league owners coming aboard. Maybe the owner of the Hurricanes would buy a franchise? If we do get one, I'm sure city council will figure something out.

I'll be putting my money forward for this!

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Raleigh-Durham has not had a professional football team since 2001 Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks.

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^Or maybe they're thinking about the Raleigh-Durham Woolverines that played over in Durham County Stadium?

(God I can't believe I even KNOW about that one.)

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Or the Raleigh Rebels, turned Carolina Bombers...which folded as well.

While I believe this would be a great addition to professional sports in Raleigh, I just don't see it working too well. There have been numerous teams that have attempted to set up shop here in recent and distant years, but fact of the matter is that this area is dominated by college athletics and it is very hard for professional sports to compete against them.

We used to have a professional tennis team, the Raleigh Edge, they played in our old Civic Center but they only lasted a couple years. Then there was the Raleigh Flyers, the soccer team that played at Broughton then moved out to a small stadium at the WRAL Soccer Center on Perry Creek Rd. then they fell apart. In reality, the attempts at professional soccer here came just a little too early. We now have the Railhawks that play over at the SAS Soccer Stadium on Hillsborough St. in Cary and to my knowledge they've been pretty successful so far.

The only real addition to professional sports that I can see coming here and being remotely successful would be a MLS (Major League Soccer) team, but I think that would still be years away from happening. Personally, I would be to see a MLB team set up shop here in Raleigh, but I just don't think we're anywhere close to the population figures for something as major as the MLB, nor will we be anytime soon.

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The market is too saturated at this point to maintain another pro franchise. The Triangle population is just not sufficient to sustain this. I would say that NC as a whole is a saturated pro-sports market with the NHL, NBA, and NFL.

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The problem is this...

There has always been, and always will be, people who live here that still see Raleigh as a small town, and they will be pessimistic towards anything that has a big city appearance. Despite the fact that Raleigh is now in the top 50 largest US cities, despite the fact that it's one of the fastest growing or most economically successful cities in the country, despite the fact that the Hurricanes have been very successful here, they still have this paradigm that they cannot shake. It's a cultural thing.

For those of us who have vision and knowledge of how things work in the real world, it's easy to see how this team could be successful in the future. With the right financial backing, the right marketing, and the right management, this team could go far in this area. The problem with those other programs that failed in the past was that they did not have the right plan nor the right people trying to implement the plan.

For all we know, they could be planning to snag former Steelers coach Bill Cowher, who now lives in Raleigh, to coach this thing.

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The Skyhawks were a franchise in 1991 in the World League of American Football (eventually NFL Europe). The league had half-hearted backing from the NFL. It eventually became Europe only, and was uncermoniously shut down this summer.

Arena Football is now partners with the NFL. The Cobras played two years in Raleigh. They drew well their first year (2001), but had a hard time drawing fans after the Hurricanes made their first significant Stanley Cup run.

They moved to Charlotte and only lasted one season there before folding. The Cobras was Charlotte's second attempt at an AFL team, following the Rage who played five seasons from 92-96.

The USFL did ok as spring league, but were destroyed when they tried to move into the NFL's fall schedule. They lasted three seasons in a mix of large and medium sized markets. The UFL could try to buy and expand the Canadian Football League, but a US expansion attempt a few years ago only lasted a couple of seasons.

Team Tennis still exists with 10 teams, mostly concentrated in the northeast. Like the WUSA (Carolina Courage women's soccer) the failure of the local team (the Raleigh Edge) was more due to the league as a whole.

Minor league hockey did ok here with the Icecaps, and the ECHL is still around and in the NHL's farm system.

I think it is good that the Railhawks are going to have a W-League team, but I hope that it doesn't prevent us from getting a franchise in a women's pro league (MLS level) if one is created.

There have also been a string of failed minor league basketball teams including the Raleigh Bullfrogs.

I don't know about the United Football League. They have owners with smarts and deep pockets -- a Wall Street investor, a Google senior executive, and Mark Cuban. The league would probably be high tech, with Google and Cuban's HD Net. The high tech element makes the Triangle attractive to the league. They want to make franchises 1/3 owned by the public, so costs would be spread out and fans can feel they own a piece of the team. But getting NFL and NCAA fans to shift their focus to a third league that played around the same time woudl be difficult.

With LA, Mexico, and Las Vegas all but assured franchises, it leaves five teams for the other nine markets. I think the Triangle should play wait and see. If it does well, the area's even larger population could be first in line for an expansion franchise. If the league folds, we don't lose anything.

The three larger schools in the area field football, basketball, and baseball teams -- nine teams in addtion to the professional sports.

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But getting NFL and NCAA fans to shift their focus to a third league that played around the same time woudl be difficult.

I think the Triangle should play wait and see. If it does well, the area's even larger population could be first in line for an expansion franchise. If the league folds, we don't lose anything.

The three larger schools in the area field football, basketball, and baseball teams -- nine teams in addtion to the professional sports.

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Lastly, college football will always rule NC. But as the Hurricanes have shown, professional sports can find the same fan base. And remember, most natives are the die-hard college sports fans. The non-natives are not as into the college sports so you have room for professional sports there. Don't overlook that part of the equation. Someone moving from NY, TX, WV, NJ more than likely would care Duke vs Carolina vs State.. Shaw vs Aggie vs Central.. they want to watch some professional sports.. And we have the means to provide that if we can get it here now.. at this time.. and not put it off and wait.

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One thing I have noticed is that people that are moving here from other places generally could care less about the Tar Heels, Blue Devils, Panthers, Bobcats, etc. but have kind of adopted the Hurricanes. Its possible that this may be a market for this venture.

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One thing I have noticed is that people that are moving here from other places generally could care less about the Tar Heels, Blue Devils, Panthers, Bobcats, etc. but have kind of adopted the Hurricanes. Its possible that this may be a market for this venture.

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But as the Hurricanes have shown, professional sports can find the same fan base.

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Nothing screams "small town" to me more than the local yokels showing up to support the latest contrived, financially unstable semi-pro obscure team. Those sorts of things have been popping up and folding for years. Why, for example, would anyone want to see a professional tennis team featuring has beens and never-weres when you can see Stanley Cup champion caliber hockey, world class college basketball, and (at least until recently) major conference college football.

And if you look behind the mediocre attendence at the like of the Skyhawks or the Team Tennis team, you see dozens of businesses strongarmed to buy blocks of tickets to these laughable athletic endeavors "for the good of the city". The ticket numbers of individuals buying tickets for themselves because they are actually interested in the team in question are in most cases pathetic, IMO. When I was working for such a business, we always had tickets sitting around to those events that no-one wanted to use.

Lame lowest rung attempts at professional sports around here are doomed to failure in competition with the high level of college sports we enjoy around here, plus the Hurricanes. The only one of these teams I was sorry to see fold was the Womens professional soccer league, and I believe in that case the local franchise was very successful, it was just that the entire league folded...

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Nothing screams "small town" to me more than the local yokels showing up to support the latest contrived, financially unstable semi-pro obscure team. Those sorts of things have been popping up and folding for years. Why, for example, would anyone want to see a professional tennis team featuring has beens and never-weres when you can see Stanley Cup champion caliber hockey, world class college basketball, and (at least until recently) major conference college football.

And if you look behind the mediocre attendence at the like of the Skyhawks or the Team Tennis team, you see dozens of businesses strongarmed to buy blocks of tickets to these laughable athletic endeavors "for the good of the city". The ticket numbers of individuals buying tickets for themselves because they are actually interested in the team in question are in most cases pathetic, IMO. When I was working for such a business, we always had tickets sitting around to those events that no-one wanted to use.

Lame lowest rung attempts at professional sports around here are doomed to failure in competition with the high level of college sports we enjoy around here, plus the Hurricanes. The only one of these teams I was sorry to see fold was the Womens professional soccer league, and I believe in that case the local franchise was very successful, it was just that the entire league folded...

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I am an individual that wants to see Raleigh grow in every way possible.

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^ I agree.

On a lighter note, how 'bout for a name the Carolina Crabcakes? Droughtful Dodgers? Pig Pickers? I kid, I kid.

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I agree. I would submit to you that the league proposed isn't really what comes to mind when most people think of "professional sports"...I mean, if you want to see players who couldn't make it in the rest of the NFL, go watch the Dolphins play...

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^ I agree.

On a lighter note, how 'bout for a name the Carolina Crabcakes? Droughtful Dodgers? Pig Pickers? I kid, I kid.

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If we do get this football team, should it be named the 'carolina blank' or the 'raleigh blank'? I think because we have the carolina panthers in the state already, a raleigh named team may be the better way to go, makes it feel more local and people would support it more. thoughts?

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