Raleigh Stadium/Arena/Sports Discussions


Wait didn’t Doak just open a few years ago?


So the plan then is to just knock down the housing that currently exists on this site? (I realize it’s not very high density housing and the state condemns houses to build stuff on the regular, but still.)


Sure. Just sharing a random idea. More realistic that moving Central Prison thats for sure.

Doak been there a while. Renovation around 15 years ago?


NC State owns a lot of those apartments already


@ Mike , I like the Carter Finley suggestion ! The Atlantic League requires 4,500 to 7,000 seats in
the stadium . Maybe this could be a possibility for both teams !


I don’t know if that was a dig or not, but I actually don’t want to move Central Prison, I want to close it down and not replace it. The prison population in North Carolina has declined by 5,000 inmates since 2009, whereas the inmate population of Central Prison is roughly 750, so that’s entirely doable.

And unlike some others on this thread, I emphatically don’t want to put a baseball stadium on that site, although I would be at least open-minded to looking into putting one on the current site of the NCCIW, which is a different prison entirely.

As for how realistic this vision is, I think it’s inevitable that Central Prison will be shuttered within a few decades, giving the development going on all around it. Whether that’s one decade or several decades just depends on political leadership.


My understanding of Central Prison is that it doesn’t house the type of inmates who would likely be released as a part of a program to reduce prison populations. It is a maximum facility prison that portends to house long-term inmates that are likely a genuine threat to society. Perhaps that is too naive of a view of the state of incarceration in the US and NC, and the system is obviously imperfect, but there are people in the world who no amount of rehabilitation will make them no longer a threat and, regardless of what circumstances brought them to this point, probably need to be incarcerated long-term. Are there more humane ways of doing this, perhaps, but the need for security is non negotiable. Are there any other state facilities in NC capable of handling those sorts inmates?


Doesn’t Butner NC have a prison that both the former NC Ag Commissioner and Martha Stewart stay for a while…I am not sure of the level however…?


Butner prison complex is a federal facility. Bernie Madoff is currently there serving a few life sentences.


So Central Prison is indeed what we call a close custody prison, which is the most serious of the five custodial levels, so inmates would have to be transferred to other similar facilities. (I’m sure the state would need to do this in stages, which is understandable.) Central Prison is unusual in that it is exclusively close custody, whereas a lot of prisons are multi-custody, which is to say that they have some inmates who get close custody and some who don’t. But there are a couple of other prisons that are exclusively close custody, and a bunch more that are multi-custody. Anyway, TLDR, yeah, the inmates would have to be gradually transferred, but it’s totally doable. And DPS does have a lot of experience closing down prisons.

I’d argue that since the problem here is that the prison is rapidly being surrounded by dense residential development, the fact that Central Prison is a close custody prison actually makes it even more urgent to find an alternative solution.


I am in the “Major league sports are usually a bad deal for cities” camp. But, you should check out the Blue Jays Stadium. There are hotel rooms built into it that have windows facing the field. Kind of an upper outfield.

View from a room

View of the rooms

I am still not a big fan, but the more private investment you pack in there the less I am not a fan.


Specifically thinking about places that are cheap now. I think the dead part of “Tower Shopping Center” would be a good candidate for a private entity to spend the money to buy and build a park on.


This is EXACTLY what I’m talking about. I love the idea of building hotels, condos, offices, etc. into the stadium itself so that it’s not a dead zone when games aren’t being played. (I mentioned this in one of my posts about buildings labeled “S” in my rendering).

Charge premium rents the same way you would for any other space offering a unique view (waterfront, skyline, mountain views, etc.). Incorporate it into a planned development—think North Hills with a stadium in the middle—so it’s actually an active space year-round with retail, office, residential, restaurant.

IMO, I just see this working better in an urban area than out on the interstate.


@ Mike , Thanks for sharing the Indy article on The Mudcats ! We went twice this season . Both games had a small attendance , week night games ! I called the minor league home office in Florida two years ago & they said that the 35 mile rule was still in affect . Just for everyone’s info. , during Josh Hamilton’s time away from baseball while he was in drug rehab , he wanted to sign with a independent baseball team but MLB fought this saying that his past contract preventing him to do this . Josh has bought a ranch in Texas .


Here’s what I’m talking about, in hanging-out-at-the-hotel-before-a-wedding doodle form. Ballpark with built-in office/condo suites, wrapped by a NH-style entertainment district. What do y’all think?


I like this OakCityBaseball ! This plus add some type of affordable housing would be great ! Affordable Housing catches the eyes of city leaders right away ! Still like Cargill for this !


I’ve actually thought about the New Bern corridor as a candidate for a project of this type. It’s got the sort of traffic pattern you traditionally look for. You’d have New Bern/64 as an east-west artery, 440 as a north-south artery, and a couple of other major roads that would be escape points for traffic.

I don’t know which part of TSC is the dead part, but an MLB stadium would require the lion’s share of the land that it currently covers. But then you have to figure out where all of those fans park…

Raleigh, as it exists in 2018, could not make an urban location work. It would have to be a car-centric location in the suburbs surrounded by parking lots like PNC/Carter-Finley is (indeed, this is why it’s unfortunate that there’s not the space left to just build it next to PNC). The reason why it would have to be a car-centric model is that Raleigh’s public transportation is woeful for a city of its size.

In order to make an urban location work, Raleigh would need to make massive, massive investments in public transportation. Now, as it happens, I think that it would be exceedingly wise for Raleigh to make that sort of massive investment in public transportation, whether we get an MLB team or not. We desperately need better public transportation for a whole host of reasons. And while it would be dumb to make a billion-dollar infrastructure investment just to attract a sports team, if the opportunity to attract a major league sports team provides the kick in the ass the politicians need to do the things that ought to be done anyway, that would be fantastic, and then as an added bonus, I get a major league baseball team out of it, which is nice.

So, in short, 1. New Bern and 440 is an appealing location, But Where Are They All Going to Park? 2. You couldn’t put an MLB park in Raleigh today and make it work, but we make some really good public policy decisions, Raleigh could be a very attractive location for an MLB team in about 10 years (longer than that if we make dumb decisions).


Here, let me present the chances of baseball happening (…). The end


If a major league team ever thought about setting up shop here, they wouldn’t do it on the east side of Raleigh…too far from Durham/CH. But we’re less than a decade out from BRT and commuter rail if all goes according to plan, so I do think there will be high-capacity transit to make an urban location work. Not today, but definitely by the time we could realistically expect a team here.


Yep! That’s kind of the thinking behind my daydreams, sketches, and the twitter/instagram accounts.

My main effort is to drum up enthusiasm about the idea of MLB in Raleigh and to build a “supporters group”—knowing it’s still several years out from being realistic. I want this to be in people’s minds when the time actually comes for it to be feasible, hopefully with some form of rapid transit in place.

If/when expansion happens, I don’t want Raleigh to be the quietest voice in the room!