Railhawks derailed?

Posted on 01/28/11 1 Comment

Railhawks logo is for sale

Wow. Talk about a surprise.

It looks like the Carolina Railhawks professional soccer team is leaving Cary. In fact, it looks like they’re leaving existence.

There hasn’t been a whole lot reported on it except for this blog post by a News & Observer writer, who came across a message board post promoting what could only be called a liquidation of all things Railhawks on Craigslist. Even rights to the team logo were up for sale.

Poking around on Google, we came across this column on The Independent’s Web site that offered some additional insight into what’s going on.

Last year, the team made it to its league championship series and recently sent three players to Major League Soccer. The crowds at WakeMed Soccer Park are not always at capacity, but the team had a solid following.

It seems odd to us that despite the incredible popularity of soccer and professional sports here in the Triangle that we can’t seem to adequately support a professional soccer franchise. CASL, the Capital Area Soccer League, is one of the largest youth soccer clubs in the country. Kids play from the ages of five to 18. It even spun off an adult league, Triangle Adult Soccer League, that is so jammed with participants it has trouble finding fields. We had the Carolina Courage women’s team a number of years ago that seem to start with fanfare after the 1999 Women’s World Cup but folded as the league did.

It is certainly not an issue with facilities, as WakeMed Soccer Park is one of the best in the Southeast, drawing major college soccer from around the country. It has easy access from both Cary and Raleigh, plenty of parking and a scenic setting.

Then again, maybe local support isn’t the case. Maybe something went wrong internally or there are issues on the national level. It’s no secret that professional soccer in America has always faced financial challenges. And, the Railhawks have been subject to criticism for their sometimes less than game winning marketing strategies.

Nevertheless, it will be sad to see the franchise falter. Perhaps a new team can establish roots in Cary next season. Or at least soon. Maybe we just need one last shot.

One Trackback

  1. By Just kidding! Pro soccer to stay in Cary. on February 17, 2011 at 10:40 am

    […] a couple of weeks ago we wrote this post about an online fire sale of Railhawks merchandise that appeared to signal the end of the […]

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