Which North Carolina City is the Best Fit for an MLB Team?
Last season, Major League Baseball went to great lengths to make their product more appealing to the masses, specifically a younger audience.
By making the bases bigger, adding a pitch clock and limiting mound visits, MLB reduced the average nine-inning game time to two hours and 39 minutes. To put this into perspective, the last season that had the average nine-inning game time under three hours was back in 2011.
Shortening the length of MLB games has been deemed a success, but now comes other conversations about the ever-changing landscape of professional baseball. These conversations include franchise relocation, as well as the addition of new franchises to MLB. You may be familiar with the talks of the Oakland Athletics moving to Las Vegas, but MLB could also be adding teams soon.
Early candidates for hypothetical expansion teams include Nashville, Orlando, Portland and Salt Lake City. These cities are primed for a professional sports team since most of them already host teams in other leagues, such as the Portland Trailblazers and the Orlando Magic. Amongst these proposed cities are North Carolina’s own Charlotte and Raleigh.
This poses the question, which North Carolina city would be the best fit for an MLB team?
A Case for Charlotte
North Carolina sports betting apps will be hitting the market on March 11, which will bring unprecedented attention from fans across the Tar Heel State.
One of the potential landing spots for an MLB team would be the city of Charlotte, which is already the home of the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets and Charlotte FC. Charlotte is also the home of a AAA affiliate, the Charlotte Knights.
It has been proven that the city can support crowds and teams, regardless of the given team's success. In 2023, the previously mentioned Charlotte Knights' average attendance was 6,833 per game — the 10th most amongst all MiLB teams. Carolina natives are willing to watch baseball live and in person!
It is also worth noting the other attractions in Charlotte that make it attractive for out-of-state visitors. Charlotte is home to one of the biggest amusement parks in the USA, Carowinds. Visitors can also take a trip to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, go shopping at the SouthPark Mall, or see a show at Belk Theater!
Charlotte is set up to be a great spot for an MLB team, but Raleigh would like to have a word!
A Case for Raleigh
As mentioned before, sports betting will be live in the Tar Heel State on March 11. As you read about what makes Raleigh a great fit for an MLB team, be sure to stay up to date on the latest news about North Carolina sports betting.
Raleigh is another potential landing spot for an MLB team, but what does Raleigh bring to the table? Well, alongside being the state's capital city, Raleigh is home to the Milwaukee Brewers’ Single-A affiliate, the Carolina Mudcats. Raleigh is also the venue of choice for Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon, who has expressed interest in owning an MLB team in Carolina. This makes sense when you consider the PNC arena, home of Dundon’s Canes, is located in Raleigh.
Similar to Charlotte, Raleigh has plenty of attractions available to those visiting from afar. Not only do they have plenty of parks to explore, but they also have a plethora of museums available for those looking to grow their intellectual acumen.
Which City is the Best Fit?
These North Carolina cities are well fit for an MLB team, but Charlotte edges out Raleigh in this comparison. Charlotte is already home to plenty of professional sports teams and has proven that it can handle an influx of traffic at any given time. Charlotte’s wide variety of nearby attractions makes it a prime location for those out of town to come in and spend a weekend in Charlotte.
Raleigh may be the capital, but Charlotte is ready to capitalize on North Carolina's hunger for an MLB team.
Putting an MLB team in North Carolina is a no-brainer, just like staying up to date on the latest news on our ESPNBet North Carolina promo code! Be sure to have as much information as possible ahead of the launch of sports betting in North Carolina on March 11.