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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

MLL Expansion/Relocation - Realignment #3

The last post saw three out of four teams relocated. Get ready for more of the same. Though the distances are much shorter and the conferences are not screwed up by these moves.

- (Raleigh) Carolina Hounds: The Research Triangle picks up the team earmarked for Charlotte. Known for its wealth of colleges and universities, the Raleigh area has plenty of the key demographics for a successful professional sports franchise. Currently the NHL's Hurricanes are the only major league team in the metro. In addition to the NCAA D1 Blue Devils and Tar Heels, the area boasts three MCLA teams: NC State, Wake Forest, and East Carolina .

The Hounds are named after North Carolina's state dog- the Plott Hound. Red and white would be the team's primary colors. These colors are primarily inspired by the state's flag, but also tie in with the Hurricanes and North Carolina State University, both of which are in Raleigh. Black would be tertiary and Carolina blue would serve as a sparingly used accent color.

WakeMed Soccer Park would be the Hounds' home stadium. The stadium previously hosted a regular season game featuring the Philadelphia Barrage and the Rochester Rattlers in 2008. Currently seating over 7,000, the stadium is designed to expand to 10,000 when needed. Permanent expansion could occur depending on the needs of the Hounds and/or the Railhawks soccer team.

- (Orlando) Florida Manatees: The Manatees move the move up Interstate 4 from Tampa to Orlando. The name, colors, etc. remain intact.

Orlando lacks ideal facilities. Brighthouse Networks Stadium is too big (45,000) and the UCF Soccer Complex is too small (1,000); both on are on the campus of the University of Central Florida. The Citrus Bowl is definitely out (70,000). Perhaps the best solution would be a seating expansion at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex. Already a gorgeous development, a 10,000 capacity soccer/lacrosse stadium would compliment Disney's primary basketball arena and baseball field. The existing fields could be used to host youth tournaments earlier on game days.

2022: Georgia Bees
-Oklahoma City Cyclones: When moving the Hurricanes from Houston to Oklahoma City, I knew that a new name was in order. I immediately wanted to use "Oilers" but with Edmonton moving its AHL franchise to the city, there is a possibility that that name will be unusual (although early indications are the the team will be the Blazers). Instead the team will keep a severe weather theme and capitalize on the state's unfortunate inclusion in "Tornado Alley" and go with "Cyclones."
Borrowing the colors of the AFL's Yard Dawgs, the Cyclones will wear brown as a primary color. Vegas gold will be secondary. White and black will be used as trim/accent colors. This color scheme emulates being hit by a dust storm on the state's panhandle.
With three large universities in the metro (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma City), there is an abundance of fields to choose from. The most logical choice seems to be John Crain Field on the OU campus. Currently seating 3500, there is room to triple the capacity.


Tribe 7