Rick Curti wants to bring MLB to Charlotte, NC, but the question remains: Can he pull it off?
CEO Rick Curti
Let’s Talk Baseball!
If you ask anybody that’s a lover of the sport, they can give you play-by-play assessments from start to the last inning, without missing a beat.
They’d convince you that it’s the greatest thing in the world, sitting in a ballpark and taking on the open breeze while watching a batter swing away at a screwball or a magnificent curveball.
They’ll even point you in the direction of the best frankfurter vendor that’s in the vicinity because apparently, franks and baseball go hand-in-hand.
If you lived in Charlotte, (NC), and needed expert advice about the competitive sport, we’d have to spot you in the direction of 41-year-old, Rick Curti. Curti said that even when he was a little boy, his dad would try and get him involved in other activities like soccer, but Curti wouldn’t have it. Not then, not now, not ever.
Eventually, his dad conformed like most parents do, to Curti’s wildly notions, passions and amusement for the game.
He began to help Curti collect baseball cards so that the bashful kid could marvel over his favorite players. That was over two decades ago, and he’s still in awe with the game.
In fact, Curti fancies it so much that he is proposing a colossal business venture that would give Charlotte, NC, its first Major League Baseball Team.
Your curiousty is piqued, isn’t it? You want to to know the how’s, when, and why’s, right?
Well, Curti is founder and CEO of the Charlotte Bats , a grassroots baseball league, developed about five years ago.
“We came up with the title “Bats,” because from 94 until 2004, there was a minor league baseball team called the Greensboro Bats, who are now called the Greensboro Hoppers . We thought it was a cool name. The colors [from the uniforms] are from the city of Charlotte and the college university of UNCC,” explained Curti.
“This is something I thought about because I’ve been here 11-years [transplant from Los Vegas, California], and doing the work [research], the population, growth, and the jobs, everything. The city is growing and we saw this as the future for Major League Baseball.”
Curti is an idealistic thinker who polarized all variables to foster this amazing concept
But, perhaps this is exactly what this city needs—A visionary, fresh perspective, and a livewire that can execute the undertaking of bringing another successful sport to the QC. It’s noted that the city of Charlotte has reservations about taking on another multi-million dollar project, however, Curti is steps ahead of the game in regards to sponsorship and financing.
He enlisted the help of Bank of America and basketball legend, Michael Jordan for sponsorship… He reached out to Dale Earnhardt, but hadn’t gotten a response, yet. He would really love the attention and support from Governor Roy Cooper.
Charlotte Bats Jersey engraved for Governor Roy Cooper
“I know that he’s a big sports fan. He loves the Hurricanes in Raleigh. He [Roy Cooper] said that bringing sports to your city and state, would be a source of revenue—And, I agree, because it would create jobs. It will bring hundreds and millions of dollars to our economy, and provide a family [oriented] atmosphere. We have so many Fortune 500 companies here. We have Duke Energy, who’s one of the largest corporations in the world. We have the sponsors to bring this to Charlotte. Before moving here, I lived in Los Vegas for five years. They were trying to get a pro team out there, and now they have a NHL team. The Raiders are going there.
When I came to Charlotte, I knew we had the Panthers and the Hornets. I said, ‘We need to move a major league baseball team, here.’ I moved here because I needed a change. Once I got here, I fell in love with the city.”
He admired Charlotte in absolution. So, in honoring the area, Curti designed baseball uniforms specific to the 1985 cronation [green and white crown] color for Mecklenburg County.
Curti constructed ‘Charlotte Bats’ apparel along with another designer that’s considered edgy and sharp.
“It’s something that you’d see at a sports store. It has the background of uptown [around the logo]. I think we have the greatest skyline. When you got to the games at BB&T Ballpark, where the Knights are playing, you can see that skyline, and it’s spectacular. So, we want to incorporate that. We want the name and everything to be a good fit for the city.” Curiti calculated that it takes about 7 years to create and develop a league, and that’s just the manufacturing stage. He also said that North Carolina is the center of the Universe, where commute is easy. “We are the sister state… people will come unless youre in North Dakota, and I don’t see a Major League Baseball team going there,” laughed Curti. Curti says that he wakes up with determination in his spirit. He feels led by God, to do this, to bring the MLB to North Carolina. Charlotte Bats is already on the list, so Curti made sure that the senior league was in the running. According to an article published last year in the Charlotte Observer, there were talks about MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, holding off on adding expansion teams until after the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays get new ballparks.
The deal with the Oakland crashed and burned sometime in December of 2017. However, there is a sedgway for negotiations if the team can find a profitable location for the ballpark.
Charlotte is still named as a possible expansion city, so once they are able to iron out the kinks for the Oakland Raiders, the expansion would commence.
It was announced on February 9, 2018 that the Tampa Rays is planning on moving its team to YBOR City.
Aside from Charlotte Bats, Curti wants to help the less fortunate and give back to the community. He is in favor of the LGBTQ population. Curti does speaking engagements in support of their parallel rights. Charlotte Bats is inclusive. We support everybody. We do not discriminate towards anyone, period. This is not a political endeavor. This is Baseball.”
Curti said that former Governor, Pat McCrory almost destroyed the metropolitan with his lackluster House bill 2, a restriction of the LGBT, and their rights as people, which would have crippled North Carolina, and its evolution.
If Curti is able to bring his team into fruition, he’d generate about the same amount of attendance, with 9,120 fans, if not greater.
Curti said that it’s definitely a competitive market for businesses in Charlotte, and against the fledgling millennials because there are so many that’s jumpstarting conglomerates and moving on to the next.
Right now, Curti is focused on the Charlotte Bats. He hopes to keep going for another 20-plus years.
“My dad always told me to work hard and be consistent. As long as you don’t go around hurting other people, or cause problems for the world, then you’ve lived a good life.
You should be consistent, passionate and honest with people. Just treat everyone the way you’d like to be treated.”
Curti hadn’t scored his magnum opus yet, but from the looks of his character, he’s sure to make a fabulous owner if the deals fall through, and Commissioner Rob Manfred keeps his eyes set on Charlotte for the expansion.
Sure, there’ll definitely be other factors like location and more sponsorships, but Curti is willing to face that giant when he gets there.
For more information:
The Charlotte Bats website .