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OT - Tampa Bay Rays talking relocation

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10-05-2011, 08:48 PM
  #101
Gnashville
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This thread is funny, People complaining about the Expos moving (which I did not support) yet are all for the Thrashers moving in Hockey. Expansion teams in all sports struggle with attendance because they have no history to fall back on. Other teams have 4 or 5 generations of fans, a baby born the day of the Rays' 1st game is 13 years old right now. The fanbase is there but won't be buying tickets for another 10 years. Montreal got screwed , Atlanta got screwed I hope Tampa does not get it too. The Rays are my favorite team mainly because of David Price and Joe Maddon and I Hate the Red Sox and Yankees.

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10-05-2011, 08:48 PM
  #102
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Golf perhaps, but racing isn't ancillary in Charlotte. It sells more tickets and merch than the Bobcats and is closer to the Panthers than you'd expect. It's not just the races either, it's the qualifying events and the Hall of Fame and the test tracks, all the other hoopla including All Star Week every year.

Not only does that soak up thousands of fans along with their expendable money, it's a corporate juggernaut on the local scene. They carry so much clout that when track owner Bruton Smith was miffed at the town council in Concord, he brought them to their knees so hard they renamed Speedway Boulevard after him just to appease him. That gives you a taste of how much money flows through racing there.

If it were just the Panthers and Bobcats in the way, Charlotte would still be a small-market stretch. But between the 500 lb NASCAR gorilla and the outright political hostility to stadium initiatives, the city really is a no-go for the foreseeable future even if it recovers from the banking collapse.
You're partially right and partially not. I feel like an MLB team would do fine here because there's almost nothing going on during the summer. The racing events end in May. The Wells Fargo Championship (PGA) is in May. Football runs end of August-January. Basketball runs November-May. Baseball would have half of it's season (June-August) as the only major sports attraction. It would do fine, especially if it were a retractable roof.

Despite the problems in the banking community, there's still quite a lot of high-end disposable income in Charlotte. How do I know? Well, my buddy works in a BMW dealership and business is booming there. That's not a great indicator, but the only articles I've seen on the topic say that consumer spending is still strong in Mecklenburg County, despite the 11% unemployment.

As for the stadium... it's interesting that you bring up the political climate with stadium building as a negative for an MLB stadium, considering that the ONLY legitimate challenge to the new Knights (AAA) stadium "uptown" comes from someone who wants them to build a major league sized ballpark. Not what I would call an unconducive environment for a stadium if there was a team in motion.

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10-05-2011, 09:26 PM
  #103
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Originally Posted by Tawnos View Post
You're partially right and partially not. I feel like an MLB team would do fine here because there's almost nothing going on during the summer. The racing events end in May. The Wells Fargo Championship (PGA) is in May. Football runs end of August-January. Basketball runs November-May. Baseball would have half of it's season (June-August) as the only major sports attraction.
Having the schedule to itself for a few months doesn't enlarge the consumer base. There are still tens of thousands of people committed to buying tickets to those other events. An MLB team has to come into the market and convice people to buy into baseball instead.

For a sense of how difficult that can be, consider how support for the pro franchises has withered since 1988, with each team getting less support than the last. We'd be adding yet another team to the mix... what's the logical expectation?


Quote:
As for the stadium... it's interesting that you bring up the political climate with stadium building as a negative for an MLB stadium, considering that the ONLY legitimate challenge to the new Knights (AAA) stadium "uptown" comes from someone who wants them to build a major league sized ballpark. Not what I would call an unconducive environment for a stadium if there was a team in motion.
You're talking about a crackpot lawyer on a personal agenda with no public backing. That's not a legitimate indicator of interest.

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10-05-2011, 09:28 PM
  #104
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Montreal is a good baseball market as any other market. Most places don't sell out games if the team has no shot so you can't pin crappy attendance on their demise. Montreal has a rich history in Baseball.. Branch Ricky, Jackie Robinson etc.

People genuinely miss the expos. Just watch this video and let it sink in. The expos moved after 36 years... not a decade...


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10-05-2011, 09:43 PM
  #105
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I have never, in my life, heard even murmurs of the MLB having any interest in Vancouver. And I've heard NBA stuff, and even outlandish NFL stuff. I just don't think it's even on the radar. I don't doubt that BC Place could be altered to accommodate a team, but I highly doubt there is any local interest, or much interest from the league.

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10-05-2011, 09:45 PM
  #106
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We're not the only ones that didn't sell out a playoff game.

http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/n...available.html

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10-05-2011, 10:02 PM
  #107
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That's it. The Rays are in a non-traditional market and must be moved somewhere that will appreciate them. Maybe Des Moines or Omaha. Remember, if you build it, they will come.

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10-05-2011, 10:54 PM
  #108
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the hot rumors are that the Rays would move to either Jersey or Connecticut, which seems like suicide to me (HEY LET'S COMPETE WITH THE YANKEES, METS AND RED SOX!) but their owner's a New Yorker.

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10-05-2011, 11:05 PM
  #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grudy0 View Post
That's it. The Rays are in a non-traditional market and must be moved somewhere that will appreciate them. Maybe Des Moines or Omaha. Remember, if you build it, they will come.
Royals claim Omaha, remember, Grudy, the Storm Chasers...... AND ISN'T IOWA Cubs territory.....

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10-05-2011, 11:12 PM
  #110
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Charlotte will get the Rays if the Blue Jays don't come first.

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10-05-2011, 11:14 PM
  #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brodie View Post
the hot rumors are that the Rays would move to either Jersey or Connecticut, which seems like suicide to me (HEY LET'S COMPETE WITH THE YANKEES, METS AND RED SOX!) but their owner's a New Yorker.
Well it worked for about 50 years with 5 in the two cities.

Brooklyn Dodgers
New York Giants
Boston Braves
New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox

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10-05-2011, 11:17 PM
  #112
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Originally Posted by Brodie View Post
the hot rumors are that the Rays would move to either Jersey or Connecticut, which seems like suicide to me (HEY LET'S COMPETE WITH THE YANKEES, METS AND RED SOX!) but their owner's a New Yorker.
I don't see New Jersey as an option. The Yankees and Phillies are juggernauts when it comes to followers right now, and if the Mets could turn things around they could be up there. The Mets have a decent fan group even with their mediocrity the past few years.

The biggest reason I don't see it happening is because I see absolutely no way a stadium would be built with tax payer money any time soon. Christie would shoot that idea down before the owner could finish his sentence.

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10-05-2011, 11:22 PM
  #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny8242 View Post
Charlotte will get the Rays if the Blue Jays don't come first.
pretty much, Charlotte is not interested in acquiring another franchise.......

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10-05-2011, 11:47 PM
  #114
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Don't get me wrong I would like the Expos to return but Baseball in Montreal and in the province of Quebec is not what it was in say the 70s and 80s. Kids don't play it anymore, it's soccer and hockey summer school. It's a generational thing. The ratings for MLB are not that great either. Hell you could see people diserting the Big O by the late 80s and early 90s and it's only when the Expos got good in 94 that people returned and frankly the attendances were not stellar during that year either.

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10-05-2011, 11:51 PM
  #115
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Originally Posted by Brodie View Post
the hot rumors are that the Rays would move to either Jersey or Connecticut, which seems like suicide to me (HEY LET'S COMPETE WITH THE YANKEES, METS AND RED SOX!) but their owner's a New Yorker.
Where are these "hot rumors" coming from?

No way that happens.

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10-05-2011, 11:55 PM
  #116
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Originally Posted by CommunistDayKare View Post
We're not the only ones that didn't sell out a playoff game.

http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/n...available.html
The Valley (Greater Phoenix Area) is similar to Tampa Bay, in that none of the transplants really care about their team as they already have their own. My aunt and uncle have lived their for over 40 years and have always been Sox fans.

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10-06-2011, 12:23 AM
  #117
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Where are these "hot rumors" coming from?

No way that happens.
NY Post.

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10-06-2011, 12:36 AM
  #118
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Originally Posted by IU Hawks fan View Post
Where are these "hot rumors" coming from?

No way that happens.
Peter Gammons was reporting that the Rays were considering a move to Connecticut or New Jersey well over a year ago:

http://articles.courant.com/2010-01-...nkees-new-team

The New York Post dragged them up again in an article that was already posted in this thread:

http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/more_...IfvTf2i3KMINjP

And then there's the fact that the Rays owner lives in New York and is supposedly highly interested in buying the Mets if they come up for sale. Which is what's lead a lot of high profile blogs like SBNation to focus on the prospect of moving to the New York area:

http://mlb.sbnation.com/2011/10/5/24...-st-petersburg

I agree that it won't happen, but would you honestly be surprised to find out this is what the league and the ownership in Tampa want? You have to confess that a team catering exclusively to New York's northern suburbs is an appealing concept that could be a potential goldmine.


Last edited by Brodie: 10-06-2011 at 12:42 AM.
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10-06-2011, 01:04 AM
  #119
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Originally Posted by Johnny8242 View Post
Charlotte will get the Rays if the Blue Jays don't come first.
Do you think the Blue Jays will move? I can't see Rogers giving up that content, considering they just launched a new sports channel. If anything, they'll be looking to buy up sports properties, if the price is right.

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10-06-2011, 01:14 AM
  #120
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Jays ain't going anywhere.

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10-06-2011, 02:03 AM
  #121
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You're talking about a crackpot lawyer on a personal agenda with no public backing. That's not a legitimate indicator of interest.
Actually, I was using him as an example the other way around. There is clearly support for building an uptown stadium. Right now, the only realistic option is a minor league one. The real problem here is that I don't think the city is going to ever approve building a major league ballpark without a team. With a major league team? We'd find a way to get it done.

Oh, and I don't know how it is in Eastern NC, but I hear as much about the Braves (plus the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets and Phillies, since there are a ton of transplants here from the northeast) as I do about the Panthers all year long. I have no doubt that MLB would be massively popular here.

We're going to just have to agree to disagree on that first point, because as far as I'm concerned, the money is there and NOT being spent at the moment. This is in addition to what people spend on NASCAR and NFL, etc. Do you realize how many people attend Race Week who come from WAY out of town? I digress.. we'll just disagree.

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10-06-2011, 05:10 AM
  #122
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Winston-Salem Warthogs?

maybe build a baseball park in the Triad (Winston-Salem-Greensboro-High Point), and try to draw 1 locally 2 from Charlotte 3 from research triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill)

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10-06-2011, 07:14 AM
  #123
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Charlotte will get the Rays if the Blue Jays don't come first.
lol not a chance.. The team's not leaving the 4th largest city in North America to go to Charlotte which is significantly smaller and the economy is in the gutter.

If anything I hear about the bobcats relocating.

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10-06-2011, 09:40 AM
  #124
tarheelhockey
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Actually, I was using him as an example the other way around. There is clearly support for building an uptown stadium. Right now, the only realistic option is a minor league one. The real problem here is that I don't think the city is going to ever approve building a major league ballpark without a team. With a major league team? We'd find a way to get it done.
How does one guy qualify as "support" in the general sense? The purpose of the lawsuit is to get the city to buy into his own real estate venture, nothing more nothing less. And unless I've missed something, he has no substantive public support behind him.

I assume you were around for the Bobcats Arena debacle? It would be political suicide to propose public funding for a major-league sized ballpark. Even the minor-league plan is a vestige of conversations that began in 2006, when cash was flowing freely and real estate was booming. And that was pretty darn close to being a third-rail issue.

Quote:
Oh, and I don't know how it is in Eastern NC, but I hear as much about the Braves (plus the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets and Phillies, since there are a ton of transplants here from the northeast) as I do about the Panthers all year long. I have no doubt that MLB would be massively popular here.
I was born and raised in Charlotte, lived there for 25 years, and make the 3-hour trip back regularly. I know for a fact that the Braves and MLB don't get anywhere near the same level of coverage as the Panthers. They're not even on daily TV anymore since Turner dropped them. If you're a baseball fan perhaps you have a skewed perception of how much people in Charlotte generally talk about baseball.

A good way to measure that kind of subject is to look at the local paper. Go to the Sports section of charlotteobserver.com and look at the headings: "Carolina Panthers/NFL" is the first option, followed by the Bobcats, blogs, high school sports, racing, college sports, golf, and THEN baseball (followed by hockey... lol). The front page has an article titled "5 interesting things about Cam Newton", followed by HS football and racing. Nothing on baseball. Go to the sports page and the only baseball article is "Major League Playoffs Updates", which links to a 3rd-party site.

I don't know where this idea of Charlotte as a "baseball hotbed" is coming from, but it is not a hotbed and never has been.

Quote:
Do you realize how many people attend Race Week who come from WAY out of town?
What does that have to do with the number of people who would show up for a 2pm baseball game in May? Race Week is an entirely different animal and it's the competition for any proposed team, not the proof of its viability.

Quote:
I digress.. we'll just disagree.
Probably so. I've had this argument a lot of times on a lot of platforms and I've never seen a convincing argument that Charlotte is capable of adding MLB to its current sports market. Maybe 20 or 30 years from now if things continue to grow.

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10-06-2011, 11:12 AM
  #125
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
1) There is no such place as Carolina. I assume you are talking about Charlotte here.

2) Charlotte is not a baseball hotbed.

3) Whether Charlotte remains a growth hotspot is in question, seeing as the growth was largely driven by the banking industry and the two biggest businesses in town were Bank of America and the late Wachovia.

4) Charlotte already has an NFL team, an NBA team, a PGA event and a NASCAR track, and the local public university is adding a D-I football program. It is flat-out not capable of squeezing an MLB team into that crowded of a market.

5) Even if all these other factors came together, there is less than 0% chance that the city will have anything to do with a major-league ballpark.

Charlotte will not be getting a major-league team.

Carolina, or the Carolinas. It is a baseball hotspot. UNC and USC are both top 5 baseball powers. Both states are population and economic growth hotspots. There is no team between Atlanta and DC, one of if not already the biggest region in the U.S. without MLB. I expect them to get a team eventually.

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