Raleigh a potential landing spot for MLB expansion team

Published 4:54 pm Monday, May 27, 2019

There are a million different reasons why people have developed a fandom for a certain team. Those who grew up in North Carolina don’t have the luxury of a professional baseball team.

Sure, there’s the Carolina Panthers football and the Hornets basketball teams in Charlotte, while the Hurricanes hockey team reside in Raleigh, but there is no Major League Baseball team.

North Carolina has been a hot spot in the sports world for decades. Duke University, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University all demand respect nationally with basketball in the Raleigh-Durham area, but baseball has been overshadowed.

While the Tar Heels have even made it to the College World Series 11 times since 1960, most recently appearing in 2018’s CWS, Duke has made regionals in the past two out of three years, and N.C. State has made it to a regional every year since 2010.

The fact is, baseball in the Raleigh area is quite good, and eastern North Carolina is deserving of that team.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has expressed a desire for the sport to expand in the coming years. North Carolina should fight for the opportunity to have a professional baseball team in the area. Manfred’s goal is to expand to two more cities to give the league a total of 32 teams. So, the Raleigh area has two chances to try and make Raleigh a new home for a Major League Baseball team.

According to www.mlbraleigh.com, there are 2,199,459 people in the triangle metro area, which is on par with markets such as Kansas City, Cincinnati, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh. Raleigh/Durham ranks as the largest TV market in America that does not have a locally or regionally broadcasted MLB team. Raleigh is also the No. 1 wealthiest metro area in the continental U.S. that does not have an MLB team within 100 miles of its city center.

Manfred has often referenced Charlotte as a potential expansion city, as well as Montreal, Mexico City and Portland, Oregon.

While some may be too deep in fandom of the closest proximity teams such as the Atlanta Braves or Washington Nationals, it would be sensational if Raleigh was able to pull this off. All they need is North Carolinians to rally behind them.