Discussion in 'Charlotte FC' started by reedinthewind, Apr 1, 2012.
Still curious, is the more central stadium location "preferred" by Malik/NCFC or Garber/MLS?
Most likely MLS, from what I have read and, it seems like Malik would be okay with renovating Wake-Med if he could.
Which would be an absolute nightmare traffic-wise. Trying to get 8,000 people in there creates a mess. Imagine trying to get 20,000 in there. And between the railroad tracks and the NC-54 highway ramps, there's no real way to connect Chatham to the interstate. And I'm not sure you could widen Chatham, either.
Well I am a Charlotte guy so no offense but I I'm pulling for my city over the RDC area. But if it was y'all over us I would be okay with NC at least having a team. I hear that he has a nice downtown rendering though.
Here is a look at what would probably be the downtown Raleigh and Durham options.
Malik gets and endorsement.
Have to give it to RDC over Clt at this point, although I think MLS prefers CLT I do believe Raleigh is by far the better set up.
Summary of MLS press conference in Raleigh:
-Preferred stadium location is on Peace Street
-Site is owned by state government and is current site of several in-use government buildings
-Malik is partnering with John Kane who is the main real estate developer in Raleigh, but he did not elaborate on Kane's role
-Malik is seeking a "public-private partnership" but details were not disclosed
My guess is he is asking the state to donate the land and probably tax breaks on construction, similar to what Bill McGuire asked for (and ultimately got) in Minnesota.
This does add another layer of uncertainty to Raleigh's bid. Now we need the state government on board. And even if they can secure a deal with the state for that land, they need to do it fast. The clock is ticking.
I'm guessing he's probably going to try to convince the city/county/state to foot the bill for realigning the roads around the stadium. Just as a refresher, I drove through then past the proposed stadium location (based on the graphic) after I left the press conference.
There is no way to put a 20k seat stadium in the existing footprint as Wilmington and Salisbury are currently aligned along Peace.
I'm also guessing, like many urban stadium projects, they'll try to get the local governments to foot the bill for upgrading/realigning water/sewer though and around the site.
You're right - the proposal would require some road shifting. More specifically, Salisbury street would be moved east (at least per the rendering shown at the press conference). I don't know about the railroads along the western edge of the site. I went out there today too; it's a sizable plot of land, if they tear down the Albemarle building and move Salisbury. Let's hope the General Assembly is willing to play ball.
I'm hoping this unveiling means that Malik feels confident that government entities are willing to make whatever land/infrastructure contributions he is pursuing. I'm again reminded about what happened in Minnesota, when McGuire wanted the site in Minneapolis originally, but ended up with the Midway site in St. Paul. It's not apples to apples, especially since we don't have details about what Malik is asking for, but I doubt that Raleigh will be afforded the same opportunity to pursue a Plan B if this site doesn't pan out.
The more interesting thing was that the press conference only mentioned the downtown location and not the North Hills or WakeMed Soccer Park options.
Interestingly, none of the assembled media asked about them either. I'm guessing the team is probably happy about that.
But I'm also guessing the private meetings likely include a detailed update on all three options.
The team looks further along than many outside the area knew, but not as far along as one might hope. But those hopes were probably not realistic. If they were further along, then information would've leaked or been published through open meetings laws and such.
Unless something totally outrageous develops, I don't see Raleigh in the mix for 25/26. But if progress is made, then I definitely see us in the mix for 27/28.
I found that interesting as well. I'm sure other sites were discussed with the MLS contingent. Announcing a specific site implies progress, or at least confidence on the part of Malik that the pieces are in place to make a land deal and negotiate infrastructure changes. Who knows how far along those dealings are. I share your pessimism; if there were news on that front, we likely would have heard something by now. Certainly, if there were any good news, we would've heard it today. I don't expect an expedited decision from our government bodies.
I also agree with you that we are probably more viable as a candidate for 27/28. But so are most other bids. 25/26 is a war of attrition right now, and Raleigh with an airtight stadium plan would be competitive. But I don't think all our stadium questions will be resolved in time for 25/26. I hope I'm wrong.
Well, 26 is a war of attrition. I'd be pretty shocked if Sacramento isn't in 25/26.
And there are a few markets that are very appealing to MLS that would probably be in 25/26 with the current situation that Raleigh has.
All things being equal, not all things are equal. MLS would rather have Detroit, San Diego, and Saint Louis. Saint Louis is sabotaging itself into the stone age, San Diego has some serious problems. I would see Detroit as the safe "big city" pick to go in 25/26 - even though Phoenix might be bigger these days.
27/28 will likely be a bloodbath of a competition. The key is to get ahead of Cincy on the fundamentals and hope the large and growing population counts for more than the 17k/game FCC draws.
To be honest, the only thing that makes me pessimistic is the stagnant 4.5k attendance. That doesn't provide a lot of cover for politicians that want to get behind Steve Malik and make the stadium happen. Swansea will hopefully put a big number, but they've been doing a lot of promotions to pump that number (two-fers with the Houston USOC game, for instance).
A 7-8k average would be awesome and regular 10k sellouts would put us near the top of the list.
TBF, I think the SE gets two teams within the next four slots, MIA being one, I think the other SE spot is preferred to be in NC (I think MLS wants the QC more than Raleigh but I'm from Clt so I'm biased). I feel like Nashville and TB are just in there for fluffing and as a way to have a fallback plan.
MLS has to get a midsouth city from Raleigh/Charlotte/Nashville.
They also need to get a midwest city from Det/StL/Indy/Cincy.
They can be flexible for the other 2 cities.
I agree; Miami, Sac, Clt (if I get my way), and Det. If we add two to four more (30-32 teams) then I see StL, SA, Indy and SD being shoehorned in.
Btw, North Hills is not one of the 3 options. I believe that rumor started from some lazy local reporting trying to link Kane to the stadium project. His role is in the associated development to go with a stadium - no matter where the stadium is. He's planning to fill NH East with residential, office, old folks homes, and green space and you can easily find this from his recent master plan submittal to the city.
Soccer in Raleigh: A Glorious Week in Review
The most important week in Raleigh soccer history? At the least, it was the most active, with a charity event, seven games, and the best Wednesday night ever.
Austin was named the #27th franchise to join MLS
Not seeing Raleigh getting a chance unless they are 28th and I have no idea where Malik's efforts stand.
No clue on Charlotte either.
Lots of good soccer in this state at different levels and college. North Carolina should have a team in MLS. If Nashville and Atlanta can......
I have a dog in the fight but I don't believe the Raleigh bid ever stood a chance compared to Charlotte and was always the backup plan. Even though Malik did a great job with bringing in the youth academy and the Courage they still do not have the financial backing to get their stadium done or get approved by the MLS. Charlotte was always lacking a serious owner and a stadium solution but with Tepper we potentially have both. For as awesome as the Triangle may be Charlotte is the larger media market and has a larger concentration of potential corporate sponsors for a team. If/When the league goes to 30+ Charlotte will probably slide in as one of the last expansion teams, Raleigh would get the bid if Tepper changes his mind on trying to get a newer stadium and filling the calendar with events. The Canes shoulda moved to Charlotte too honestly.
Ouch babe. The only problem with the Hurricanes is the 9 years without a playoff game in a league where >50% make the postseason. You try flipping a coin and see how long it takes you to get 9 tails in a row. The new ownership for the team is in the process of changing that.
As far as MLS, Raleigh was never a "backup" - it's just a completely different bid. Nothing more nothing less.
I have long said that, in a vacuum, I would expect Charlotte to get a team before Raleigh-Durham, but that I think Raleigh-Durham would be a better fit.
The reason being that owning major league teams these days requires extremely rich people looking for toys. Charlotte, being the banking capital of the country, has rich boys in spades. While the Triangle does have plenty of people who have been made very wealthy by the tech and drug industries, there's never really been a local "major league" owner that's appeared.
Demographically today, and increasingly as you look towards the next several decades, I think Raleigh-Durham is the better option, but short of an owner or place to play, that's mostly just academic.
But we don't live in a vacuum. Charlotte still has the possibility that some rich guy will just say, ******** it, I'll pay for everything and that'll be that.
On the other hand, don't discount the fact that Malik has been playing the industry game very well. From zero to USSF board of governors in less than a year. Bringing in the Flash and getting CASL, TSF, and the other youth players in the area to unite under the NCFC/Courage banner, creating a development academy system that would be solidly in the upper half of MLS organizations. Malik is building the infrastructure and operational system that MLS looks for. He's positioning himself as the owner in waiting that the MLS BoG wants as a partner.
The current negatives, obviously, being that Malik probably needs a deeper pocketed partner. He also needs a stadium deal. Sometimes silence is golden, sometimes not. I honestly have no clue whatsoever whether any stadium progress has been made. My own personal feeling is that the staged site location presented at the Mark Abbott Expansion Tour stop in Raleigh was unrealistic for many reasons, but presented because the magic buzzword of "downtown". I have my own thoughts about the best location options for stadium in the Triangle, and downtown Raleigh (and even downtown in Durham) ain't it due to the demographics and traffic issues of getting around the Triangle.
As it stands, I'd put Raleigh slightly ahead, but neither particularly close. The reason being that Malik is exactly the sort of person the MLS BoG wants. But unless there is anything that's being done behind the scenes that makes the bid a lot closer than anyone knows, being in second place is the same as not even bidding. And because of that, barring any surprises in Raleigh, Charlotte is the more likely bid to get 28 just because it has that wild card of having some really, really rich guy willing to cut in line and pay enough money to eliminate the normal red tape that derails stadium deals and such.
And to be honest, if you're looking at demographics moving forward - and MLS surely is. Both Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham should be in the mix. The key isn't what the markets are like today, because as of tomorrow, today will be history. Stadium construction is based on the next 30-40 years. Today, both Charlotte and RDU are top 25 Nielsen Markets and top 30 MSA/CSAs in the United States. There are currently 21 U.S. markets in the league, next year that'll be 23, Austin will make 24. In 20 years or so, at expected rates of demographic change, both Charlotte and RDU will be top 20-22 markets in population. Both will skew young, educated, and multi-ethnic with above average income and savings - all exactly the key categories that feed into MLS and its sponsors businesses.
The MLS expansion board would probably freak out because it somehow assumes it's Raleigh vs Charlotte - ignoring the fact that they're twice the distance apart as Philly and the New York teams, but the reality is that at 32 teams, I would put it at around 50% that both have teams.
Obviously there are some very large and desirable markets (Detroit, Phoenix, Tampa all spring to mind) that have been skipped in order for smaller markets like Cincinnati, Salt Lake, and Austin to get in, so nothing is certain. Fun fact, Greenville/Spartanburg is bigger than Cincinnati and growing leaps and bounds faster - yet nobody, but nobody even considers that market. It's part of the struggle of the new, fast growing, southern tier cities. Forty years ago the Triangle was just over half a million people. It's now over two million.
As a former Durham resident, I still kinda follow what's happening in the region, and appreciate your post, Andy.
I do have a question/comment about the bolded part, though. Unless I'm missing something, Cincinnati is substantially larger than Greenville/Spartanburg. The CSA population of Greenville/Spartanburg is about 1.35 million (2016 estimate; the more concentrated MSA population would be a couple hundred thousand smaller). For the time being, Cincinnati's MSA and CSA populations are very close: about 2.2 million, give or take. There's some reason to believe, though, that within the relatively near future, the Cincinnati CSA might gobble up the Dayton MSA, which would push this expanded CSA region's population to about 3 million.
Anyway, from everything I can see, Cincinnati has a much larger metro area population than does Greenville/Spartanburg.
Hmm, you are correct. I think that I was misremembering the ranking list I was looking at.
The Nielsen broadcast rankings:
Has the Cincinnati and Greenville DMAs being very close - 850k television households to 805k television households - and Greenville is growing at a much faster clip.
It definitely shows the danger of reliance on any one metric (CSA, MSA, DMA) or ignoring demographic rates of change.
Raleigh appears smaller to many people because the Census Bureau decided to split the Triangle some time ago into two main CSAs, and casuals only see the "Raleigh" number and miss the "Durham" part. When I was growing up, there was a similar period where Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS were split into two CSAs - but a heavy political campaign got them recombined.
I think, actually, the Triangle is split into two MSAs (the Raleigh-Cary and Durham-Chapel Hill MSAs) which come together to form the Raleigh–Durham–Chapel Hill combined statistical area (CSA).
Not sure what happened in Kansas City, but the definition of these areas is supposed to be based on measurable commuting patterns. If Cincinnati ends up absorbing Dayton into its CSA, it'll be because there's cross commuting between the two metro areas that achieves a certain formulaic threshold for the Office of Management and Budget to proclaim them now part of one CSA. Several years ago, Columbus gained a couple of counties in its CSA boundary due to new commuting patterns.
But, yeah, then you have TV market size, which just muddies the waters further and gives those of us on BigSoccer more to argue about in the expansion forums. The only stat that I think we can probably agree is largely meaningless is city population. Propagandists in Columbus (of which, technically, I'm one) repeatedly quote the stat that says we're the 14th largest city in the country. Which is true in a technical sense (the City of Columbus has a population of about 1 million), but just doesn't mean very much.
Technically correct is the best kind of correct.
A couple decades ago I remember when Kansas City, MO passed Saint Louis, MO as the most populous city in the state of Missouri. Or more correctly, Saint Louis shrank faster than Kansas City and overtook it in a race to lose population. All the while ignoring the fact that both metropolitan areas were growing and that the Saint Louis metro area was more than 50% larger than the Kansas City one.
For those wondering, both KC and STL were under 500k in "city limits" population at the time.
Fun with statistics!
Googling... Holy crap, Saint Louis continues to empty out. 489k in KC to only 309k in STL in the 2018 estimates.