Charlotte mayor not keen on Marlins relocating

Updated: April 4, 2006, 7:06 PM ET
Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Florida Marlins may have Charlotte on their list of possible places to relocate, but the city's mayor isn't high on the idea.

Mayor Pat McCrory told The Charlotte Observer he doesn't believe the city can support a third major-league team.

"We're not ready," McCrory said. "If [the Marlins] see the same numbers we have, you question why they're interested. I want to make sure we're not being played."

Charlotte is already home to the NFL's Carolina Panthers and the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats.

Jerry Reese, a local real estate lawyer, has proposed a plan to build a $500 million development in downtown Charlotte that would include condominiums, stores, restaurants and a 39,000-seat stadium for the National League's Marlins. But his financing remains unclear.

"In my 11 years, I have had many people bring me drawings," McCrory said. "Drawings are cheap. The projects in them aren't."

Claude Delorme, the Marlins' senior vice president for stadium development, told The Observer that Charlotte is on the team's list of possible cities but there are no current plans to visit.

Team executives have visited Portland, Ore., Norfolk, Va., and San Antonio and are also exploring ways to stay in South Florida.

Since the early 1990s, Charlotte has been listed as a target nearly every time a Major League Baseball team has discussed relocation.

But it has been years since city leaders put any real effort into luring a team. Many believe the city would be better served by building a downtown minor-league stadium for the Triple-A Charlotte Knights, who play in suburban Fort Mill, S.C.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press