Raleigh Stadium/Arena/Sports Discussions

@nipper.dwight you in buddy? #oakcitybaseball :deciduous_tree::cityscape::baseball:

Hey RedVelvet , Thanks for the invite ! Yes , I’m in ! Love Baseball ! I don’t believe that any of you guys will agree with me on this ! I still want & support bringing The Atlantic League to Raleigh ! AA Level of play , 40% of the league players have playing time in MLB , 22 year history , & a local investor is working toward this project ! The Chicago Dogs of The American Independent League played their first season this year & Independent Baseball is coming to Dallas & Milwaukee next season ! This information is in Ballpark Digest Independent ! I love minor league & college baseball ! Won’t ever forget watching Rich Hill pitching in April 2016 for Long Island of The Atlantic League & watching Rich pitching on TV in October for The Dodgers in the playoffs ! I really believe that Raleigh would be a St. Paul , Minn. success ! St. Paul of The American Independent League averaged 8,293 fans a game this season with their stadium being only 13 miles from The Twins Stadium ! Anyway , I know that all of us love baseball , that’s for sure !


High Point NC will have a Atlantic League Team next season , 2019 , if their new downtown stadium is finished !

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With the Durham Bull’s so close by, I can imagine it would be hard to get another AAA team here. I would think maybe targeting the new expansion teams over the next 5 years, especially if Charlotte gets a team.

Charlotte should not get a team, they cannot support two teams let alone 3.
Mexico City and Montreal will get teams.

Does anyone remember when we/Raleigh will here back about the last 2 MLB teams to be awarded? Please and thank you! :grin:

Montreal already had a team. There is only one team in the South not located in Florida, and that is the Braves. Charlotte should get a team. I would say Raleigh, but ha!

No, the talk for years is to bring back the Expos which they should and it will happen, Charlotte should not get a team. They have won nothing, can’t suppoet two teams let alone three anc is should never go to Charlotte if placed in NC, not a good sports town at all.

Plus baseball is dying and boring, the attendance numbers are seriously skewed, the stadiums are more than 1/2 empty everywhere, and Charlotte will never support 20,000 let alone 40,000, their population is not that much larger than Raleigh, banking is dying and they are primarily blue collar, baseball prices are oathetic (Raleigh is a baseball area more than Charloote, minor leagues, history, college baseball and USA Baseball HQ, and we would draw the whole East Coast of NC).
Anyway, does not matter, it’s still boring and dying.

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Baseball is challenged by new demographics and viewing habits, yes, so it will have to adapt to that. But dying? No way. MLB’s new leadership just needs to show that it will adapt to younger crowds. There are several ways to do this…

One thing I think you will start seeing is smaller, more intimate ballparks. (Tampa Bay’s proposed new park would be among the smallest in MLB).
Knit them into the city fabric like Fenway and Wrigley–not these beside-the-interstate behemoths with miles of parking lots.
Rely more heavily on non-traditional ingress/egress: satellite parking with shuttle bus, commuter rail, BRT, ride share, rickshaw, foot traffic
Incorporate things that younger generations are into: micro breweries, local music, arts, etc.

Yes, Raleigh is currently behind other markets in the expansion pecking order, but we all know our city is growing like crazy. It’s not out of the realm of possibility in the next, say, 5-10 years.

BTW, yall give us a follow @oakcitybaseball !!


RedVelvet , I still would love to see The Cargill Site as a sports stadium ! This is a 10 acre site & the city owns a 5 acre site that touches Cargill’s Site ! Something cool to see the Raleigh Skyline beyond the outfield wall ! Especially with the addition of the FNB Tower ! Bring in The Atlantic League Baseball / Shaw Football / Shaw Lacrosse , Concerts ! If Raleigh’s attendance does what St. Paul , Minn. does , ( stadium only 13 miles from The Twins Stadium , averages 8,300 fans a game , then make a pitch to MLB ! Independent Baseball , The Chicago Dogs started their first season this year & Independent baseball is coming to downtown Dallas next year & also next year to Milwaukee & High Point NC ! I have sent emails to Mayor McFarlane , Mr. Ruffin Hall , City Councilors with these thoughts ! If all of you will , please do the same ! Lets do something ! City Leaders are very close to Jim Goodman & this is hard to overcome ! Unreal ! Sad for Raleigh when it comes to Raleigh Baseball !

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As to whether “everything” should be downtown, as in a new arena, face the reality that only about one-third of the city’s population lives ITB (much less in downtown). Only about 15% of Wake County’s population lives ITB. Actually these numbers have been trending down, not up, for decades notwithstanding downtown residential development. The PNC site has a lot of supporters who live OTB and don’t wish to trudge into downtown to see NCSU or the Canes play. I’m one of them.


ctillnc , I can understand your point of view ! I am just one for a large downtown , density , high rises , a lot of downtown visitors like last weekend at Bluegrass , ect. ! Last weekend I met people at Bluegrass from Chicago , NY , Oregon , & also people that lived downtown ! They all loved Raleigh & they were fans , not part of the BG Bands . As part of my earlier discussion , former Raleigh Mayors Meeker , Bradshaw , & York have all spoke to Mayor McFarlane in support of a downtown sports stadium this year ! I say this because the more people that will email city leaders about a stadium , just maybe more attention will happen ? Who Knows ! With The Cargill Site situation , there is not a better time to do this in my opinion ! Thanks for any help on Raleigh Baseball ! Lord , it will take a Miracle for this to happen ! I do Pray often for Raleigh Baseball !

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I think Nashville is the perfect example of Downtown stadiums, and how successful they can be. The Preds stadium brings a lot of business to the surrounding neighborhood on game day, as does the Titans, though they are across the river.

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Nashville is an example, but bear in mind that downtown Nashville has been a major tourist attraction since the Grand Ole Opry moved to the Ryman during World War II. The Preds were able to leverage restaurants and bars already in downtown… probably four times as many as we have in DTR today.

I still believe the question is whether NCSU has changed its mind about playing downtown. If not, the question is how to finance a new arena. Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee just came in at $528 million exclusive of real estate acquisition. That’s ten times what the City paid for Dix… and of course, the City will be pumping cash into Dix for years to come. Dundon has the money, but who knows what’s on his mind.

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Do not understand why State would not want to be downtown, State campus is basically downtown, easy walking distance for students, actually more then easy.
Students are priority one and should have easy access to stadium and games, Walkimg from campus to Finley is a joke as it is.
Build downtown and do it right, spend the money, PNC is out dated and the corridors are so narrow it’s awful.

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It is crazy to me that there isn’t a single sports venue in downtown Raleigh. I personally think football stadiums should usually not be downtown because of their excessively large footprints and low number of events, but for me as a fan, I usually prefer to go to baseball, basketball, and hockey games downtown so I can walk to things before and after. DC has a great setup with MLB, NHL, and NBA all downtown. Of course Raleigh isn’t that big, but other comparably sized cities do have downtown venues. Nashville was already mentioned. Memphis has the FedEx Forum. New Orleans has the Smoothie King Center and Superdome. The Thunder play in downtown Oklahoma City. The Jazz play in downtown Salt Lake. And that’s not to mention all the smaller cities that have at least minor league baseball downtown. The Bulls blocked Raleigh from getting a minor league team, and that doesn’t seem likely change anytime soon.

I think it would have been better for PNC to go downtown, but it is what it is now and I don’t think it makes sense to replace PNC or build a redundant facility at this time. Would be awesome if the MLS stadium goes downtown, but that sounds like a longshot, both b/c of issues with the proposed site and competition from other cities for the remaining two spots. An independent baseball team would be a step in the right direction, though not really a game-changer, IMO.

For me this is a real hole in Raleigh’s cultural fabric and makes Raleigh punch under its weight a bit. I don’t think all venues need to be downtown, especially somewhere like Raleigh/Wake County which is spread out, but Raleigh/Wake County has several in suburban rural locations (Carter Finley, PNC, WakeMed Soccer Park, Five Rivers Stadium), and none downtown, which is just a bad setup.


Most NHL and NBA arenas are indeed downtown. Besides Raleigh, the counter-examples are San Antonio, Portland, Oakland, Chicago, Philly, Ft Lauderdale (hockey), Ottawa, Phoenix (hockey), Anaheim, and Las Vegas. Of course, in some of those cities there is a definition question of what’s “downtown” and what’s not. Does “downtown” mean CBD? Wells Fargo in Philly is definitely not CBD, but from the perspective of someone in the outer suburbs, it might seem like downtown. Chicago and Portland are debatable like that. Anaheim doesn’t really have a downtown. In Las Vegas the arena is as far from the historic city center as PNC is from the NC Capitol, but in LV the strip matters more than downtown.

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I’m more intimately familiar with the locations of baseball parks in respective cities than I am with arenas, but I can tell you that it’s very, very rare to build a baseball stadium on an ultra-prime location in the heart of downtown, probably because it’s terrible land use choice. (And this is even more true, in both senses, of Major League Soccer than it is of Major League Baseball.)

As noted above, all of Philadelphia’s major sports stadiums are 3 to 4 miles south of City Hall, which is the center of the city. That would be the equivalent of putting a Raleigh stadium south of the Beltline, and it’s actually not much different than the distance between PNC Arena and DTR.

Nationals Park in Washington was built in Southeast D.C. along the Anacostia waterfront in a part of town that was very, very distressed at the time and was some of the least attractive real estate in the city. Camden Yards in Baltimore was also built in an area that city officials were actively trying to revive after a period of decline. PNC Park in Pittsburgh was built on the north side of Allegheny River, where land was cheaper (and thus it provides a gorgeous view of the CBD). Atlanta and Texas (Dallas-Ft. Worth) play in the suburbs. Tampa Bay somewhat infamously plays in St. Petersburg. Neither of New York’s teams play in Manhattan. I could go on and on.

I’m less expert on MLS stadiums, but many MLS teams play in very suburban areas, while a few others double-bunk in existing NFL, CFL or MLB stadiums

Raleigh has a much smaller true downtown than pretty much of all these cities. Also, it doesn’t have very many declining post-industrial neighborhoods where land is cheap and local officials are trying to spur an urban renewal. And the handful of brownfield sites that do exist, like the site of the old Cargill plant, are eagerly sought after for other projects because the opportunities there are so lucrative. As such, there aren’t really any good downtown locations for a sports stadium. (Many current MLB stadiums were built on land that used to be the parking lot for the old MLB stadium, which is obviously also not an option for Raleigh.)

I realize this is an unpopular opinion, but I think PNC Arena is located exactly where it ought to be. If an MLB or MLS team ever came to that area, the first inclination should be to determine whether a third stadium could be fit in the remaining land around PNC and Carter-Finley. (It may be that the land is now too built-out, but that would be the first place I would look.) And I think the best thing that Raleigh city leaders can do to integrate PNC into the city is to better connect that part of the city to downtown through better transit, better road connections, and higher density, rather than trying to build a Shiny New Thing on scarce downtown real estate.


What about an MLB stadium in that huge swath of land across Trinity from CFS? Right now I think it’s a bunch of horse barns/stables, and there’s a huge RV park there too. I guess it’s used by state fair employees when it’s in town? Anyone else know what’s back there?

Anyway, that would probably be the only option in the CFS/PNC neighborhood. Plus, you could take advantage of CFS/PNC parking lots since MLB season doesn’t overlap too much with football/basketball/hockey. Make that the Triangle sports hub?