What ya’ll know about NCFC?
…probably not much.
The “new” North Carolina Football Club (NCFC) brand was unveiled last week at the timeless City Market (real talk – Fitz’s nuptials were performed there and he’s waterworks just thinking about the place). Being elite members of the media, Fitz and I were able to schmooze our way into the unveiling party Tuesday night. Besides the free drinks and dynamite apps (including a special NCFC Lonerider Brew), the night provided a new vision for soccer in the Triangle.
Here are some takeaways from, what I hope, turns out to be a huge day in RALEIGH sports history:
The new brand. Am I completely in love with NCFC name and logo? No. But, even though it is super-generic and a little too Euro for my taste (we really didn’t need another “FC”, “United” or “Real”), it’s built on historic North Carolina colors and it avoided association with South Carolina. So, even though I’ll miss Swoops, it was completely necessary to lose the minor-league feel and this new identity will be a good start.
MLS Potential. This may be a naïve view, but to be a big time city you have to have big time sports! Culture, arts, architecture, infrastructure, and shit ton of other things are important, but nothing brings a city and a set of communities together like a beloved professional sports franchise. Besides the Canes, we are a mass of disparate allegiances! With State, Carolina, Duke, Wake, ECU (among many other esteemed places of learning, maybe Elon? We all know that one fucking Elon guy…), NCFC could be that team we all agree on!
Downtown Stadium. Selfishly, this is what I’m most excited about, but only marginally more than the MLS possibility (and obviously the two go hand-in-hand). As of now, there are 8 possible sites, but I get the feeling its downtown or bust. MLS has a track record of wanting their new stadiums in urban areas with walk-able amenities and our bid would be DOA without it. Owner Steve Malik has already stated that he and a group of investors are willing to pay for the estimated $150 million facility. Bottom line, if Malik and his group are willing to believe in the city, the city will believe in NCFC.