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Old 03-08-2012, 09:50 AM
 
203 posts, read 310,243 times
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Hi, I have been curious about the Major league baseball allegiances in this area. A study that maps baseball fan allegiances nation wide seems to show that the Nationals are the team of choice, but the area is one of the most diverse in team support (also showing significant numbers for the Orioles, Braves, Yankees, and Red Sox)

I would like to know your impression...
-Is the area is more united behind the Nationals than the map indicates?
-Is the area more for the Braves or Orioles than outsiders might think?
-Would the Hampton Roads area unite behind their own team if one where to move or expand there?

I am asking this because I think the MLB is heading in the wrong direction with post season expansion. Too many teams in the playoff dilutes the importance of the MLB regular season, which for 140 years has been the true mark of baseball success. I believe the length of the regular season reflects the nature of the game (everyone has highs and lows, but after 500 at bats "you are your batting average").

Therefore its my conclusion that the best preservation for the league would be to expand the league, and shrink the playoffs. Baseball was at its best when the 162 game season determined the leagues best team, period. And then a long playoff series between the two league champions determined the World Champion. Regional growth, and shear number of teams inevitably required change, however it has gone too far. I believe implementing a modern version of this system could restore the integrity of the regular season, and still keep competition balanced.

My idea is below. It considers every North American metropolitan area with more than 1 million people as expansion or relocation destinations (Winnipeg and Green Bay are the only two city with major league teams that are smaller than this)
What do you think? Could Hampton Roads become a rival an inter league rival of the Braves?


Some Mexican cities and Havana, Cuba were not considered viable.


Within this system the playoffs would have only divisional winners play for the pennant, and the league champions play for the world series. It places an emphasis on playing teams within the division, and having every teams schedule balanced.

Last edited by jasomm; 03-08-2012 at 10:21 AM..
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:28 AM
 
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I don't like adding more teams to the playoffs either, I liked it back when only division champs made it in. THe one wildcard is OK too because there have been a lot of years where the two best teams in the league came out of the same division (Red Sox/Yankees/Rays in the AL east for example).

The sports allegiances around here are very inconsistent because we have a lot of transplants and also there is no local team to cheer for.

The Nationals are relatively new and are not geographically very close to us, so not a lot of people feel connected with them yet. I think with the team being more talented this year, having local boy Ryan Zimmerman under contract, and a great crop of young players like Strasburg and Harper... you will start seeing more fans pop up though. Before the Nats there were Orioles and Mets fans because of the affiliation with the Tides. You also have a fair amount of people that keep their allegiance to whatever area they move from as well as a bunch of frontrunners. I say frontrunners because I see TONS of Steelers stickers around here but very few Pirates stickers even though both are Pittsburgh teams and we have a large population that migrated from Pittsburgh.

I don't know if the area could support an MLB team. There are definitely sports fans but I don't know that we have the corporate presence or the disposable incomes locally. If I had to pick a sport that would succeed in Hampton Roads I think it would be an NBA franchise.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:31 AM
 
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Hampton Roads IMO could never support a major league baseball team. The only franchise I think our area could handle is a NFL team and that's because it's only 8 home games. MLB would mean 81 games played and I do not think we as a area could fill the seats enough to support a team.

As far as the new playoff system I do not see why everybody has a problem with it. It's creating a 1 game wild card playoff game to earn a playoff spot. All it's doing is rewarding division winners (which they should). Before the new rules you could make the playoffs as a wild card and automatically be at the same level as a division winner. How is that fair? At least now you will see 2 wild card teams play a 1 game playoff to determine who gets to play a division winner. This means those 2 wild card teams will probably throw there ACE pitcher out which means that ACE pitcher will not be able to play in game 1 or 2 in the divisional series. Bullpens will also get used which is not good depending on how many pitchers pitch late in the game. Another advantage that would go to division winners. So this means more teams will have incentive to actually win the division instead of settling for the wild card. Too many times have a 5 games series favored the wild card team because they jump out early and take the first 2 games. When you consider the season is 162 games a 5 game playoff is a horrible way to determine who should advance. It would never happen anymore but IMO they probably should make the playoffs 7 and 9 games (WS) like they did decades ago. If not they might as well reduce the season to like 144 games.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:35 AM
 
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Anothe thing about supporting the teams. A lot of money is brought in from the luxury suites. If a new stadium was built here for a MLB team you'd probably see at least 50 luxury boxes. I do not think you'd find another companies in this area that would be willing to pay out what it would cost in order to have a suite.

The Orioles fans are probably a dying bread in this area. Because of there poor play the last decade and a half they have really lost some fan base for new fans IMO.

I don't think this area will ever be a popular Nationals area unless they really became a team that went on a long run of success. Which is possible but I think it would take a good 20 years to really notice something.

I also think you'll see less and less Braves fans as the years go by since they are no longer on TV. They used to always be on TV which is a big reason IMO that a lot of younger fans started watching them. Also the fact that they won like 15 straight division titles throught he 90's and 20's with there great pitching. I don't ever see that happening anymore in this day and age of free agency.
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Old 03-08-2012, 03:29 PM
 
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I don't know enough about the business of sports to debate whether HR could support a team or not, but I would love to see a major league baseball team based in Virginia. And the name "Ironclads" is awesome! As far as allegiances go, I know more Baltimore, Philly, and Yankee fans than anything else.
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:12 AM
 
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Not going to happen for several reasons, some being that the population is not dedicated enough for a team, determining what city it would be based in and most importantly (which goes hand in hand with that) who would pay for it. A lot of tax payer money is wasted, excuse me, invested, in these new stadiums and cities around here just don't have that kind of cash to throw around.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xGrendelx View Post
I don't know enough about the business of sports to debate whether HR could support a team or not, but I would love to see a major league baseball team based in Virginia. And the name "Ironclads" is awesome! As far as allegiances go, I know more Baltimore, Philly, and Yankee fans than anything else.
With Baltimore and the Nationals we'll probably never have a chance to have a team in Virginia. The Orioles owner was upset enough that they put the Nationals so close to the Orioles. Not that what another thinks will matter but it does not really make sense to put a team in VA when they could put one in North Carolina or Portland Oregon etc.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Virginia, 757
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Statz2k10 View Post
With Baltimore and the Nationals we'll probably never have a chance to have a team in Virginia. The Orioles owner was upset enough that they put the Nationals so close to the Orioles. Not that what another thinks will matter but it does not really make sense to put a team in VA when they could put one in North Carolina or Portland Oregon etc.
I agree with this^^^^^ its pretty much the same reason why I don't think we will ever get an NFL team as well since the Maryland/Washington DC area is so close to VA, owners, investors and upper management of teams probably see no reason to put a team in VA

I think our best chance to land a team was with the Hornets in the NBA and the Expos in MLB

I still have hope that we will someday get a pro team here
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:12 AM
 
Location: DMV
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My wife is from Hampton Roads (I'm from the DC area) so I have had a chance to come down to your area quite often. I'm curious, how successful do you all think the Norfolk Tides are down there? Personally seeing how big your area is, I was really surprised to see that you all haven't gotten a sports franchise but I also began to realize that the way your cities are set up hurts a lot. I mean where could you put a team that would be accessible for everyone? Va Beach is probably one of the most challenging parts to get to, especially if you are expecting people from Williamsburg and the Colonial Triangle to support the team as well. One thing that would help is having better infrastructure. Having a light rail helps, but transportation will play a huge role. Everything is so spread out down there and not dense enough to produce the type of turnouts for games needed. One of the things that makes the Nationals and Orioles draw, even despite being horrible for the past few years they are both in dense areas, around public transportation and off of major highways. Where could that be possible in Hampton Roads? I think that would play a huge role in the support that you can get for a sports franchise. Unfortunately being surrounded by water makes that extremely difficult.

And as a side note, I would say I disagree that adding the wildcard is bad. People are tired of the the same 4 teams making it. It is already a given that the Yankees/Red Sox will be there every year in the AL. Fans that root for teams like the Orioles and Blue Jays have little hope for the playoffs. With another playoff spot, those fan bases have something that they can look forward to. I also don't think it's much different than what already happens. There have been a few years where we've had a play-in game right after the season. This is basically what adding the second wildcard will do. To me, it doesn't change the playoffs much since it's just one game.
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgtitans View Post
My wife is from Hampton Roads (I'm from the DC area) so I have had a chance to come down to your area quite often. I'm curious, how successful do you all think the Norfolk Tides are down there? Personally seeing how big your area is, I was really surprised to see that you all haven't gotten a sports franchise but I also began to realize that the way your cities are set up hurts a lot. I mean where could you put a team that would be accessible for everyone? Va Beach is probably one of the most challenging parts to get to, especially if you are expecting people from Williamsburg and the Colonial Triangle to support the team as well. One thing that would help is having better infrastructure. Having a light rail helps, but transportation will play a huge role. Everything is so spread out down there and not dense enough to produce the type of turnouts for games needed. One of the things that makes the Nationals and Orioles draw, even despite being horrible for the past few years they are both in dense areas, around public transportation and off of major highways. Where could that be possible in Hampton Roads? I think that would play a huge role in the support that you can get for a sports franchise. Unfortunately being surrounded by water makes that extremely difficult.

And as a side note, I would say I disagree that adding the wildcard is bad. People are tired of the the same 4 teams making it. It is already a given that the Yankees/Red Sox will be there every year in the AL. Fans that root for teams like the Orioles and Blue Jays have little hope for the playoffs. With another playoff spot, those fan bases have something that they can look forward to. I also don't think it's much different than what already happens. There have been a few years where we've had a play-in game right after the season. This is basically what adding the second wildcard will do. To me, it doesn't change the playoffs much since it's just one game.

The Tides have a nice stadium for a AAA team. Back in 1992 when the Stadium opened (might have been 1993) it was REALLY above most AAA stadiums in the country. But like the vast amount of new major league parks minor league stadiums are trying to have a good image so you're seeing a lot of stadiums with that "new" look. It's kind of crazy to know that Harbor Park is already about 20 years old!

With that said IMO the Tides don't have great turnouts. Everytime I go to games there are plenty of empty seats. The only time it seems that there is really a full crowd is for fire works or when they have hot dogs for like a quarter or something. To take a family to a game can get expensive with the prices they have. I also have no proof to this but I think a lot of people just don't want to drive all the way out to Norfolk. The area isn't the best even though the interstate is very close.
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