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This is part of a larger feature on possible MLB expansion. To see the full series, click here.
One of the fastest-growing areas on the East Coast outside the state of Florida, Charlotte continues to be part of the expansion conversation. It would fill a large geographical gap from Atlanta to Washington.
Population (CSA): 2,684,121 (rank: 20)
DMA: 1,145,270 (rank: 23)
Major Pro Teams: Hornets (NBA), Panthers (NFL), NASCAR
Clubs That Claim Broadcast Market: Braves, Orioles, Nationals
Four Businesses of Interest: Lowe’s Companies, Bank of America, Compass Group, Tyson Foods
Organized effort: None
Pluses: Charlotte has grown like a weed in recent years. Based on census projections, just between 2010 and 2017 grew nearly 13 percent, and since 2000 has been one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. Add in that appetite for minor league baseball is high with solid attendance for the Triple-A Knights. It’s also important to count the Triangle that includes Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill.
Minuses: If Portland is a small market, so too is Charlotte. While there’s competition from the NFL and NBA, you really have to talk about the large pull on sponsors that NASCAR has in the region, as well as the deep ties to collegiate sports.
Open Questions: Who’s going to pick up the baton? No one yet has stepped forward, meaning that Charlotte continues to be a location to talk about with not much to stand on.