UPDATE: Kinston Indians Moving To Zebulon

The Indians baseball team will be leaving Kinston after the 2011 baseball season and moving to Zebulon. It's a move that shocked many fans. Now officials are trying to do everything they can to get another team in by 2012, to avoid a hard economic hit.

According to Kinston Mayor BJ Murphy, the city would lose about 30,000 dollars in revenue a year. That number doesn't include the local businesses such ashotels and restaurants that gain business when people come to the area for games. But Murphy says they still have an entire year to try and find another team.

This will be the 25th year the Indians will be at Grainger Stadium. Murphy says officials are actively working to find a replacement.

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The Kinston Indians minor league baseball team will be moving to Zebulon after the 2011 season. The team has been sold to Carolina Mudcats owner Steve Bryant. The Mudcats are reportedly moving to Florida.

Currently, there is no team to call Grainger Stadium home after the 2011 season. However, officials hope that will change.

Cam McRae, a general partner of the Indians ownership group, said in a press release, "I'm an optimist, and I'm hopeful that baseball will be played in Grainger Stadium in 2012."

Kinston Mayor BJ Murphy tells WITN, Kinston is working to bring another team to the city. Murphy says it will help that the city has almost a year to make that happen. Kinston City Manager Scott Stevens says, "Baseball is a part of what makes Kinston a great place to live. We'll do everything we can to keep baseball being played in Grainger Stadium." A press release says the City of Kinston owns the 61-year-old park.

"We've improved the stadium, put money in it, and we've had a solid Player Development Contract with the Cleveland Indians," McRae said. "We've put great players on the field and won three Carolina League championships. We did not have a for-sale sign on this franchise, but this transaction is a good opportunity for the Carolina League team to field a team in a bigger market and a modern ball park. Grainger Stadium is also a quality venue."

The new general manager of the Kinston Indians, Benjamin Jones, says support for the K-Tribe will be more important than ever in 2011. "Our organization is going to extra lengths to offer a memorable fan experience at the ball park," Jones said. "The more fan support we have this coming year, the better our prospects will be to attract a franchise for 2012."

The Indians franchise will play 70 regular-season games in Kinston in 2011. "The staff is in place and ready for a great season of baseball," said Chris Hemeyer, who will begin his sixth season as the Indians' play-by-play announcer. "We're looking forward to a memorable 25th summer of Kinston Indians baseball."

The move to Zebulon is subject to approval from Minor League Baseball and review of Major League Baseball.

Grainger Stadium in Kinston opened in 1949 and is the second oldest ballpark in the Carolina League. It seats 4,100.

The Indians have been in Kinston for more than two decades.

To read the full press release from the Kinston Indians on their move, click the link below.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous Location: T'ville, NC on Jan 10, 2011 at 11:03 AM
    Can Kinston say "Coastal Plain League". They could be that 16th team.
  • by Purple Haze Location: ayden on Dec 26, 2010 at 11:37 AM
    Until Kinston gets rid of all them old fuddy-duddies, it will remain a NO-NOTHING town!!!! They want everything like it was when they were growing up!!(200 years ago)
  • by Anonymous on Dec 26, 2010 at 02:36 AM
    the story didn't say the owner was going to buy another team it said that city officials were trying to get another team here.the owner saw that kinston sucked and took the money and ran.
  • by Anonymous Location: kinston on Dec 26, 2010 at 02:28 AM
    I never went to a game, friends that have been said it sucks bad food bad team.i think we need to start more jobs and just move on and forget about a stupid ball team.
  • by Jim on Dec 20, 2010 at 11:42 AM
    The Indians are leaving for one reason...they lose money in Kinston. And don't let the mayor fool you...revenue isn't profit. If I was a betting man, I'd bet the city spends $60,000 to generate $30,000 in revenue. Furthermore, no one gets a room at a local hotel so they can spend the night after a game. I doubt there's much impact on any local business from out of towners. With only a few hundred people at each game, how can there be? "Well didn't you guys vote for BJ Murphy" Yes, we did. The sun rose in the east today too. Neither, though, have anything to do with the Indians leaving. The team should have left 10 years ago or more. Anyone who pays to bring another team to Kinston has way more money than sense.
  • by Kinston Native Location: Zebulon on Dec 20, 2010 at 07:52 AM
    You can blame the people from down there in Florida for this mess. It's also a little bit of a loss to Zebulon, just not near as much of a loss as it is for Kinston. As a Kinston native, I'm sad to see Kinston Indians go, but I am very confident that Kinston will get a team back. There will be enough people to rally around this. Even though the ball park is in the ghetto, usually those thugs there don't really bother with the cars in the parking lot there. They have other stuff to worry about.
  • by Sam Location: Kitty Hawk on Dec 20, 2010 at 07:39 AM
    To MHC, yeah I know, and we have the Outer Banks Daredevils who play at First Flight High and are in the same league as you. Daredevils have a great and fun atmosphere as well. BTW, Greenville could use a minor league team. Maybe they can get one and be called the Pirates. Arrggghhh!
  • by Sam Location: Kitty Hawk on Dec 20, 2010 at 07:19 AM
    I hate to see that happen to Kinston. They should'nt have a problem getting another team within a few years. I've been to both stadiums and seen the Indians and Mudcats both play in the past, but it's been 3 years since I've been to Kinston to watch them and about 9-10 years since seeing the Mudcats. The Norfolk Tides are closer to the OBX and we've been to those games since we moved down here. I'd like to go to at least a couple of Kinston games before they move to Zebulon. We'll have to take a ride there when they start.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 18, 2010 at 03:36 PM
    Why not greenville we actually have a population and economy. Plus it will save all the Pitt County people from driving to Kinston. If you go to an indians game you follow 90% of the ppl back north on 11. Greenville is a great choice.
  • by dwight Location: Snow Hill on Dec 18, 2010 at 10:51 AM
    This is like whatching an old friend or a member of your family dying. I dont care what you say since I been back home 1990 I have not seen crime going on. the only damage I've seen is from foul ball hitting cars.
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