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      WARNING!   07/26/16

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tozmervo

MLS in Charlotte?

659 posts in this topic

Sigh. MLB is not coming here. While MLS is a "possibility", it will not affect Charlotte's chance of getting an MLB team because there is no chance. The local income doesn't exist to support a 3rd major league team out of the big 4 (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL). Put it this way. The amount of money required to support an MLB team is equal to about that of the NFL AND NBA, which we can barely do now. Now is the time to get into MLS though while the league is still "on the cheap". I don't know where, but I predict you'll see a new MLS franchise (maybe 2) in the Southeast in the next round of expansion whenever that may be. You'd have to think Atlanta would be one given they are a 3-team town now and have the income/population. The other may be Orlando, Charlotte, Triangle, Greensboro/Triad or VA Beach/Norfolk. My first choice for a team name: Charlotte (or Carolina) Flight.

Edited by dbull75

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Sigh. MLB is not coming here. While MLS is a "possibility", it will not affect Charlotte's chance of getting an MLB team because there is no chance. The local income doesn't exist to support a 3rd major league team out of the big 4 (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL). Put it this way. The amount of money required to support an MLB team is equal to about that of the NFL AND NBA, which we can barely do now. Now is the time to get into MLS though while the league is still "on the cheap". I don't know where, but I predict you'll see a new MLS franchise (maybe 2) in the Southeast in the next round of expansion whenever that may be. You'd have to think Atlanta would be one given they are a 3-team town now and have the income/population. The other may be Orlando, Charlotte, Triangle, Greensboro/Triad or VA Beach/Norfolk. My first choice for a team name: Charlotte (or Carolina) Flight.

I wasn't saying that MLB was coming, but having another pro team here certainly wouldn't help our chances in 10-15 years if it became a possibility. I agree we cannot currently support an MLB team, I also agree we CAN support an MLS team and I think it would be a good fit.

Also, I'm not a big fan of Charlotte Flight, no offense. I think names like "Flight" and "Havoc" or even "Titans" sound like WNBA or UFL team names. I'd be happy with Charlotte F.C. But again, no offense, everyone has a preference and that's yours. The beauty of personal opinion.

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I wasn't saying that MLB was coming, but having another pro team here certainly wouldn't help our chances in 10-15 years if it became a possibility. I agree we cannot currently support an MLB team, I also agree we CAN support an MLS team and I think it would be a good fit.

Also, I'm not a big fan of Charlotte Flight, no offense. I think names like "Flight" and "Havoc" or even "Titans" sound like WNBA or UFL team names. I'd be happy with Charlotte F.C. But again, no offense, everyone has a preference and that's yours. The beauty of personal opinion.

The problem with "FC" is that it's overused in soccer. Several teams already have that designation. It's the equivalent of having the team name "Tigers". No originality. To me "Flight" seems right in line with the names of some of the current teams like "Fire", "Revolution", "Galaxy", etc. Not to mention it ties into the history of aviation with the Carolinas.

Edited by dbull75

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The problem with "FC" is that it's overused in soccer. Several teams already have that designation. It's the equivalent of having the team name "Tigers". No originality. To me "Flight" seems right in line with the names of some of the current teams like "Fire", "Revolution", "Galaxy", etc. Not to mention it ties into the history of aviation with the Carolinas.

Yeah, I can agree that the F.C. title is overused. But I also despise the general "mascotness" (not a word but it fits here) of American professional sports. I like simple names and concepts, names like "Reds" or "Leafs" have always appealed to me. I guess as long as we don't incorporate some terrible cat name into the title I'd be happy. So tired of that.

Just out of curiosity, would you consider Charlotte historically to be more of an aviation or a rail hub? Either way I find transportation nicknames to be cool. Probably would want to avoid Carolina Steamers though.

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I think MLS would well in the Carolinas. If you look at the 2010 Men's soccer attendance figures, 5 of the top 25 schools were in North and South Carolina.

South Carolina was #12, North Carolina #14, Charlotte #17, Clemson #20, and Duke #23.

Charlotte (the city) lies directly in the middle of all those schools, although I'm not sure MLS is a big enough draw to bring people from 2 hours away.

Having two of those schools in the College Cup (UNC and Charlotte) certainly won't hurt NC's chances of getting a MLS franchise either.

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^ I don't see that two year old article translating into a "huge pipe dream" for Charlotte to get an MLS expansion.

I will give you that it is unlikely to happen in the next 5 years as Atlanta will be first.

Edited by Urbanity

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But given the direction of baseball, newer markets really don't have much chance of MLB expansion.

You mean it's status as the second most popular professional sport?

If Charlotte is to get an MLB team it is true that it will most likely be a relocation rather than an expansion. If it were to happen I think it would most likely be Tampa Bay which could work out well especially since it's AAA team is the Durham Bulls...Think of the synergistic relationship between the Checkers and the Hurricanes.

I agree that a team would have to relocate, and I think that if/when an MLB team does come to Charlotte, it will be successful. To use the college comparison, baseball is incredibly popular in the Carolinas. Most of the college teams in both states are nationally prominent (ranked) year in and year out- especially USC, UNC, Clemson, and NC State.

Yeah, I can agree that the F.C. title is overused. But I also despise the general "mascotness" (not a word but it fits here) of American professional sports. I like simple names and concepts, names like "Reds" or "Leafs" have always appealed to me. I guess as long as we don't incorporate some terrible cat name into the title I'd be happy. So tired of that.

I agree that the "mascot" issue is a problem here. Why does every team have to have a dorky nickname? Case in point: Bobcats. I don't think the FC thing is over used (Charlotte FC would suit me fine), but I wouldn't mind something unique. Kansas City just changed from the Kansas City Wizards to Sporting Kansas City. The term "sporting" indicates that they will probably have multiple sports under that umbrella (soccer, lacrosse, etc).

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You forgot Charlotte. Charlotte is ranked nearly every season and has the 7th best winning percentage in the nation over the last decade.

The 49ers just set a pre-season sales record for season tickets with about 1100 sold.

Attendance has steadily climbed and I believe another stadium expansion is planned for about 5 years down the road.

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It may be a while before North Carolina gets a MLS team particularly if Atlanta doesn't even have a team. Charlotte, the Triad and the Triangle could all support a team in my opinion. Its really a matter of which region steps to the front of the line and makes a real effort to land a team. The Triangle and the Triad have a stronger soccer following so it will be interesting to see what happens. I predict the Triangle will really push for a team more so than the Triad. The problem with Triad leaders is that they are thinking more long term for MLS as a part of it's "Heart of the Triad" development plan. Unlike Triad leaders, I'm sure leaders in the Triangle are working behind the scenes now getting their ducks in a row preparing for a future bid. Because the Triangle region has the highest income levels in the state, it just may be the best region in NC that can support MLS.

Edited by cityboi

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^You could just as easily make the argument that the Charlotte area is more viable because it has a larger population and corporate base than the Triad or Triangle. But also consider the fact that Charlotte already has a lot disposable income tied up to the NFL, NBA, Nascar and PGA tournament. Additionally you have the Major League Lacrosse starting up a team here (though the league doesn't cost anywhere near those other leagues to support). So it really begs the question, how much more can the region take on? The MLS isn't exactly MLB either, which is frequently discussed here with the Knights stadium situation. MLB is a whole different animal and would not do well here in the present day because the area lacks the available disposable income. Utlimately anyone of the three areas in NC can support MLS, IMO. It would really come down who has the best bid, a prospective owner with the money, etc. Until Atlanta gets a team though, North Carolina will have to wait and see.

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The irony of "Atlanta first" when teams find a place to plop in the south east is the Atlanta consistently has shown to be an awful sports town. Across the board.

Hawks attendance stinks-bobcats do better (seriously)

Lost 2! NHL teams

Braves made the playoff for basically 20 straight years and they still have trouble getting butts in the stands

Falcons made the playoffs this year and still finished 15th in the league (well behind the panthers)

Now I know attendance isn't everything, but at least in MLS it is more significant than the big 4 leagues.

Stats per ESPN for 2011-2012 seasons

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MLS in Charlotte would be awesome! I live in Seattle now, where soccer is huge...part of it is that I think Seattleites really wish they were Europeans, but I digress.

The below video is from Kasey Keller's final game as a Sounder this past year:

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MLS in Charlotte would be awesome! I live in Seattle now, where soccer is huge...part of it is that I think Seattleites really wish they were Europeans, but I digress.

The below video is from Kasey Keller's final game as a Sounder this past year:

Very, very awesome.

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Seattle is just a great sportstown... Sometimes an underrated sportstown I believe. The Seahawks also has one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL (same stadium that the Sounders plays in). Would love to see the Panthers have that same intensity one day...

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Seattle is just a great sportstown... Sometimes an underrated sportstown I believe. The Seahawks also has one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL (same stadium that the Sounders plays in). Would love to see the Panthers have that same intensity one day...

You and me both. The sad thing about the posted video for me, was as I watched I was both excited that soccer can do so well in the United States, and depressed knowing Charlotte would never put together a crowd like that.

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After talking with the Railhawks (Cary's NASL team) front office, it is apparently in their long term plans to make the jump to MLS. They are currently in the midst of a stadium expansion to increase capacity to 10,000. Last season under the new management average attendance nearly doubled over the previous season. The hope is to keep the trend going to get near capacity averages within the next few years and lure a new owner willing to invest in the team (they are currently owned by a sports marketing company from South America?). New owner with deep pockets can then help move the team up to MLS and possibly a downtown Raleigh stadium.

Step 1: Increase attendance. Shouldn't be too hard with them coming off a record season last year (regular season league champs!) and pretty substaintial growth. I'll guess will see about the viability of the long-term plan after the next 2 seasons.

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Interesting that he didn't even mention Atlanta which leaves me the feeling that Southeast expansion talks are still awhile away.

My gut feeling is the first two teams will be Atlanta and a location in Florida. I think N.C. is the wildcard for teh Southeast expansion team which in my guesstimate has more to do with Florida chances.

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Interesting that he didn't even mention Atlanta which leaves me the feeling that Southeast expansion talks are still awhile away.

My gut feeling is the first two teams will be Atlanta and a location in Florida. I think N.C. is the wildcard for teh Southeast expansion team which in my guesstimate has more to do with Florida chances.

You'd think a sports league would be smart enough to learn from their cohorts on how difficult it is to have a profitable franchise in Atlanta or Florida...

See Atlanta Thrashers

See Florida Panthers

See Florida/Miami Marlins

See Tampa Bay Rays

See Miami Heat prior to Lebron arrival

Heck, even the Braves with their YEARS of success still have trouble filling the stands.

The MLS would do OK in Miami due to the large Latin population. But anywhere else in Florida and certainly in Atlanta will be a huge fail.

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$100 million for the franchise, plus a 25,000 seat stadium (say another $50 million?). I agree that Atlanta & Florida are tough (both have more transplants than Charlotte, thus no loyalty) but I still don't see that kind of money in soccer in Charlotte, probably nowhere in the Carolina's. We also have a much stronger collegiate soccer presence than either Atlanta or any Florida metro, not sure how to quantify that helping a MLS franchise though.

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MLS would not work in Charlotte, at least not now. We are heavily saturated with pro sports teams as in, not counting the soon-to-be addition of the Knights Uptown. The Railhaws, I think (correct me if I'm wrong here) currently play in Raleigh in the division right below MLS and have a decent following, certainly better than the Eagles here in Charlotte (albeit in an even MORE minor league than the Railhawks).

Honestly I think the MLS could work in Raleigh due to their affluent population and proximity to college campuses. Compared to the big 4 leagues, tickets are relatively cheap and would in my opinion, be well supported in the area by the college crowds. While a stereotype, (I'm lumping myself in here once upon a time) - college students love a great cheap reason to get drunk. Also take into consideration that the MLS season plays through the summer, avoiding the NHL season in Raleigh with the exception of I think 10 games (as opposed to the NBA whose season wages on today).

In Charlotte, a team would have to rely heavily on corporate sponsorship and immigrant population, more so than in Raleigh. It would also contend directly with the Knights and one of our 15 lacrosse teams, however many we have. Not to mention it would overlap by at least a month with the Bobcats (and assuming that dismal excuse for a franchise ever makes the playoffs, even more).

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Definitely think the team should go in the Triangle or Triad if NC ever gets a team.

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^ Yeah I tend to agree. I know we want every hot new thing to be based here, but having grown up around Raleigh I can say without question that soccer is far more widely embraced there.

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