While the rest of the state is getting ready to view this first total solar eclipse in nearly 90 years, the Astros will be making a little history of their own. On Monday morning, the team will break ground on its new stadium in Fayetteville, N.C. With nearly one full season of its two-season stint in Buies Creek in the books, the Astros will get shovels in the ground to start the construction on their new $31 million stadium, where its high Class A affiliate will play starting in 2019.
The Buies Creek Astros are one of two new franchises in the Carolina League—along with the Down East Wood Ducks—after the Bakersfield and High Desert franchises were shuttered following the 2016 season.
To celebrate the event, The Black Dagger, a parachute team with the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, will parachute into the soon-to-be construction site. The event will take place near the Fayetteville Police Department and Prince Charles Hotel on Hay Street in Fayetteville. The new stadium, once completed, will sit between the hotel and the subway station on Hay Street.
The city of Fayetteville and the Astros have signed a 30-year lease on the stadium.
Additionally, the team announced five finalists for its new name. The potential names are: Woodpeckers, Fatbacks, Fly Traps, Wood Dogs and Jumpers. The team also provided explanations of each of the finalists.
Fatbacks: The name is derived from the fat of pigs that is prevalent in Southern and French cuisine. Fatback is one of the delicious, delectable pork products that is the result of a hog roast that brings the community together, the release says.
Fly Traps: The name refers to the flytrap plant native to the wetlands of the Carolinas. The name also relates to baseball and how outfielders are taught to catch fly balls.
Jumpers: A tribute to the 82nd Airborne, based at Fort Bragg.
Wood Dogs: Not dogwoods, but wood dogs. The intent, according to officials was to "have the name take the form of a dog, which resonates with the city's and military's characteristics of loyalty, compassion and protection."
Woodpeckers: A tribute to the endangered red cockaded woodpecker, which calls the long leaf pine in our area home.