Gov. Cooper joined the OG Podcast to talk all things sports but made sure to get in a few comments about the potential of MLB in Raleigh. This is the most in-depth the Governor has gone into the eventual NC push for MLB, and the first time he really doubled down on the team’s location being in the Triangle (Raleigh specifically)
Here is the full video with quotes (start the video at the 30:15 mark)…
Unprovoked- Cooper: “I’m ready for some MLB in Raleigh.”
Ovies: “That was on my agenda of things to talk about and it does relate to Tom Dundon. Lots of movement with the PNC Arena and that entire development…So how do you feel about the Centennial Authority and his [Dundon’s] bigger plans to maybe want Major League Baseball.”
Cooper: “I think development in that area has been needed. I think a lot of people have expressed concern about being able to go to the PNC and then what do I do when I’m there. There’s nothing there. The development around it I think will be extremely positive for our economy, it will help NC State, it will be positive for the State Fair and all things going on out there.
If we can get this Major League team to Raleigh, I think there can be a place in that area and could work. I know that Tom wants to have it in that area. There’s places in South Raleigh and others that people have looked at. But I think it’s a doable thing. I think once everything is squared away in Florida with Tampa and all that, they’re going to expand and I think that we’ll be in the mix. I think that Nashville will probably make a strong bid too.”
Ovies: “What do we need to make a strong bid for this? What do we need to actually make it happen, because I’ve argued…well not argued against it, but just there’s a lot of things that need to take place in the City of Raleigh to make a Major League Baseball team work, infrastructure-wise.”
Cooper: “Well first you need owners with a lot of money who are willing to put the money down to establish the team and put a significant amount in building a stadium and all the amenities. I think probably state and local government’s understanding of the economic windfall that could come from a Major League team. But you’ve got to have the big bucks behind it.
I think with the development behind it happening in that [PNC] area, a Major League team would fit nicely because there’s already infrastructure improvements happening. I think the demographics with the Hurricanes being the only pro team. We don’t have, in the Triangle area, a pro football team, a pro basketball team like Charlotte. Charlotte obviously has been mentioned, I don’t know if they are at the saturation point for pro sports with Charlotte FC and everything they’ve got. They could potentially be in the mix. I just think the Triangle is the right kind of place to bring Major League Baseball. That’s our hole, that’s North Carolina’s hole, that it would be really exciting to bring it here. We might not be able to pull it off, but you’re going to see a lot of people coming together to try and make it happen.“