Is There a Market for Professional Sports in Tallahassee?

By Jaime Garcia Montes on May 30, 2017

The straightforward answer is: not really. Tallahassee isn’t exactly the ideal city for a relocated professional sports team. Aside from the city being a relatively small market, Tallahassee is a collegiate sports dominated city, and for good reason. Tallahassee residents are very involved in supporting their Seminoles and Rattlers, and the majority of these people would probably prefer it remains that way.

The relocation doesn’t make much sense on the side of the associations or investors either, as a significant amount of Tallahassee residents are more concerned with paying for tuition rather than purchasing season tickets.

For the sake of hypotheticals, what if a professional sports team decided that Tallahassee was the ideal fit for their team? Throughout this article, I will present three team concepts that would make sense if Tallahassee had a professional sports team to call its own. Because Florida State football is widely considered Tallahassee’s fan favorite and because there are already three NFL teams in the state of Florida, I decided to focus the relocated franchises in the form of NBA teams.

Once a team has chosen their ideal relocation setting, the brand redesigning process ensues. Factors such as local wildlife, geographical elements, and historical foundations tend to play a role in what the new franchise will be named after. For each of the three examples, local elements will determine the direction that each redesigned franchise will take.

Each of these uniforms was designed using the team customization tools available via NBA 2k16.

1. The Tallahassee Red Wolves

Color Scheme: Red, Brown

The red wolf: the first animal to be successfully reintroduced after being declared extinct in the wild. Apart from being a common wildlife contributor to Tallahassee, the red wolf is a perfect symbol for a team being rebuilt.

From the depths of being dismantled, a franchise looks for new life with a new image — the red wolf embodies that mentality with the breed’s resurgence. As a predator, the red wolf also serves as a symbol of strength and grit, something that any professional team needs behind their brand.

2. The Tallahassee Magnets

Color Scheme: Gray, Red, and Yellow

I know what you’re thinking … not the most intimidating choice for a professional sports team. It also might not make any sense to most of Tallahassee residents or anyone else for that matter. The inspiration for this team concept comes from a fun fact about Tallahassee that may surprise you.

Tallahassee is actually home to the largest and highest-powered magnet laboratory in the world, known as the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory or “MagLab” for short. According to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory website, the MagLab is the only facility of its kind in the United States. The abundance of power that the magnet lab contains should evoke some sense of understanding as to why a professional sports team would be named after a piece of metal.

Besides, this wouldn’t even be the weirdest NBA team name in Florida alone (looking at you, Orlando Magic)!

3. The Tallahassee Mastodons

Color Scheme: White, Brown, and Teal

Mastodons are distant relatives of current day elephants that have gone extinct. Thousands of years ago, these massive animals lived in and around Tallahassee. At the Museum of Florida History, which is located here in Tallahassee, there is a complete mastodon skeleton on display. The remains of the now extinct animal were found just south of Tallahassee in Wakulla Springs.

The American Mastodon would be a unique choice for a new Tallahassee sports franchise. The mastodon-focused approach exemplifies Tallahassee’s historic past, dating back tens of thousands of years. The mastodon was a massive animal, standing at over nine feet tall, 16 feet wide, and weighing roughly 10 tons. That is what I would consider an intimidating team mascot.

As the capital city of Florida, Tallahassee would make sense as a potential candidate for a franchise looking for a new start via relocation. With a rich history and an avid sports fan base, the city has got to at least attract some attention. However, there are only so few cities throughout the country that are fortunate enough to have a professional sports team to call their own. Tallahassee residents don’t have it all that bad regarding local sports teams though, as Florida ranks second in the nation with nine professional sports teams.

If you are a Tallahassee resident or just someone interested in moves that change the landscape of professional sports, would you want a professional sports team to relocate to Tallahassee, FL? If so, which of these three team concepts do you believe would best represent Tallahassee and its culture? Leave your thoughts and comments in the section down below and let me know what you think!

Jaime Garcia Montes is graduating from Florida State University with a degree in Editing, Writing and Media in August of 2017. Jaime is from Miami, Florida and enjoys playing sports and producing digital content.

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