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Charlotte Bidding For ACC Baseball Touranment

Since football and basketball are already there, BB&T Ballpark would make perfect sense for a new home to the ACC Tournament. I guess this means Fenway would never happen though.


The city of Charlotte is bidding for the rights to host the ACC's baseball tournament at its new BB&T Ballpark, per a report from the Charlotte Observer. Charlotte joins three other North Carolina cities (Winston-Salem, Durham, and Greensboro) in the bid to host the tournament, starting with next year's playoffs.

BB&T Ballpark is the minor league home of the Charlotte Knights, a AAA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. It seats 10,200 spectators but can be expanded specifically to fit the needs of the ACC Baseball Championships. It replaced the outdated Knights Stadium, which sat across the state line from Charlotte (which is in the "west-southwest" portion of the state) in nearby Fort Mills, South Carolina.

The key to the Charlotte bid will be already-large ACC presence in the city. The ACC Championship for football is already held at Bank of America Stadium in the city limits, and the ACC Men's Basketball Championship will play in Charlotte in 2019 after brief stops in Brooklyn and Washington, DC. Charlotte held eight previous ACC basketball tournaments, behind only Raleigh and Greensboro.

It's likely Charlotte will host the ACC Baseball Championship in some capacity. Since 2009, it's rotated between the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham and NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro. But the ACC committed to Charlotte back in 2000 and 2001 and moved only because the stadium technically sat in South Carolina during a time when the NCAA declared a moratorium on sanctioned championships being held in the state due to its refusal to take down a Confederate Battle Flag from its state capitol building. So while the stadium was closer to Charlotte than it did anything else, it was denied future championships based on the ruling.

One of the things to point out is that if Charlotte is accepted into the rotation, it is unlikely that Boston ever becomes a target for the league for future tournaments. The 2010 ACC Baseball Tournament was slated for Fenway Park, but it ended up being switched to Greensboro due to "cost containment." The ACC has never approached the topic of a return to Fenway, and the iron fist held over the stadium's grounds by the Boston Red Sox is a major hurdle that the league doesn't have to overcome when North Carolina can offer four very good minor league stadiums. None of the four bids, though, even came from a state besides NC, meaning Turner Field in Atlanta also has no desire to host.

Furthermore, the league's nucleus of baseball power typically comes out of the North Carolina/Virginia area, and the perceived weakness of college baseball in New England is a hurdle that, until proven otherwise, will never be toppled. With Boston College and Notre Dame, the ACC could potentially move a series to Fenway if the Red Sox ever found it profitable, but the weakness of the two teams in this year's league would arguably provide a major stumbling block to profitability. The Cape Cod Baseball League All Star Game proved it could draw 10,000 fans to Fenway, but as long as the two most marketable teams to this area are the two worst teams in the league, nobody will turn out for those games.

(Tip of the cap to AParker for the FanShot for this post)