A Charlotte team would have to build a following in a town with existing NBA and NFL teams (there is also an NHL team in Raleigh). Nashville is a fast-growing area, and any pro sports league finds that appealing. But as they teach in your introduction to psychology class, our satisfaction with a situation often depends on our expectations.If you’ve been sleeping on the streets, an 8 x 10 room might seem like a palace.One of them told me that fans were surprised at the time commitment for an MLB team, as compared to an NBA team.Yes, the season-ticket holders were bright enough to understand there were twice as many games.
But let’s put it this way: MLB is not doing well in Tampa Bay-St.
Charlotte was also involved in a bold team-sharing plan in the 1970s.
The Carolina Cougars of the American Basketball Association regularly played home games in Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh — and even a few games in Winston-Salem.
But MLB wants to grow, and that is difficult without new markets. One of Charlotte’s pluses is that its a banking center, and its metro area ranks 20th in gross domestic product. Louis and ahead of Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Milwaukee. Louis Cardinals historically have drawn from a wide area, as have the Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, and Milwaukee Brewers to varying degrees. Could it draw from the Raleigh-Durham combined statistical area with 2.3 million people more than a couple hours away?
Having no viable option sort of makes it difficult to squeeze the local powerbrokers and get them to kick in money and/or come up with a site for a new ballpark — which is most likely the reason behind Sternberg‘s gambit. The Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds have long, traditional followings, stretching back generations. Nashville is smaller (27th TV market, 32nd combined statistical area), less prosperous (31st in metro area GDP), and has existing NHL and NFL teams, SEC football, and a Major-League Soccer team that will debut next year. That’s unappealing to Montreal and Tampa Bay because they’ve had a team for a full schedule of games, and they’ve played the ballpark game with MLB; there has to be some real resentment there.Minor-league baseball stadiums don’t easily convert into big-league facilities.