Previously narrowed to 10, several possibilities, including Thunder, Red Wolf and Copperheads, were eliminated from consideration due to their use by other minor league teams or sanctioned collegiate programs. Others were considered from a logo and mascot standpoint and found to be lacking. The five finalists are now being considered both for design and trademark. Artists renderings of potential logos are being considered, as is input from leading professional mascot consultant and creator of the famed Philly Phanatic Dave Raymond. The names in consideration are:
Aviators: It plays off the strong aviation history of North Carolina and the founding of Piedmont Airlines in Winston-Salem.
Dash/The Dash: A nickname used for the city of Winston-Salem.
Racers: Ties to the strong auto racing heritage of North Carolina and Winston-Salem.
Rhinos: A strong, swift, ferocious animal with ties to the area.
Wallbangers: A fun, unique baseball term.
In addition to the excitement surrounding the selection of the team name, several other aspects of team development are taking shape. This week, 920 tons of steel are being delivered and installed at the stadium site in Downtown Winston-Salem, with the longest pieces the light standards measuring 60'. In addition to the highly visual progress on the stadium, ticket sales for the 2009 season are taking shape.
"We have commitments for seven of our 14 suites, and half of our club level tables have already been sold," said Baseball Downtown President Kevin Terry. "Our sales team is in place and talking to people throughout the region. The creative and very unique ticket package offerings are proving to be quite popular, so we're anxious to make sure all fans have an opportunity to get the info they need from our website and staff to become a part of what is sure to be an incredibly exciting inaugural season in the new ballpark."
The franchise has established a priority list for season tickets, which will be utilized for the selection of seat locations. Fans are committing by providing a deposit as little as $10.
Franchise leadership will continue the name evaluation process over the summer, as the final stages of development - logo, mascot, etc. - are key to the ultimate success of the moniker and will not be determined without significant research and consideration.
"The name process, along with the incredible progress on the stadium and ticket packages, is our most important 'to do' list item," said Terry. "We want to look at every possibility to come up with a look and entertainment program that the community will own and love."
Information on season tickets packages, group ticket packages and advertising opportunities are available now by calling 336/714-2287 or at www.baseballdowntown.com.
On April 16, 2008 it was announced that Winston-Salem franchise ownership and Mandalay Baseball Properties had entered into an agreement for Mandalay to operate the club. This agreement remains subject to the approval of baseball's governing bodies.