SBD/January 25, 2012/Franchises

Houston Chronicle Poll Shows 80% Of Fans Against Astros Name Change

Online poll found little support for changing Astros names
Eighty-percent of more than 11,000 respondents "were against" a change to the Astros' name, according to a HOUSTON CHRONICLE poll cited by the paper's Zachary Levine. There were “plenty more nays” amid suggestions for the Houston Generals, Houston Hurricanes, Houston Buffs and even the Oilers. New Astros Owner Jim Crane and CEO George Postolos on Monday announced a number of fan-friendly initiatives and the Astros’ “relenting on their ban of outside food, lowering of ticket prices, and proclamation of an open mind on the future of the uniforms and even the 47-year-old team name had the town abuzz.” For one day Houston “was a baseball town again.” Levine wrote, “Headlines were about the Astros. Airtime was given to the Astros. Social media were blowing up on the topic of the Astros, with 819 comments on the team’s Facebook page by 7 p.m. Tuesday.” If the Astros “were looking for a larger focus group than their packs of season-ticket holders, they got one.” And if they “weren’t, they got one anyway” (CHRON.com, 1/24). In Houston, Steve Campbell wrote Astros fans “should have at least some cautious optimism after Crane’s first two months as owner.” Crane “may not be the glad-hander that his predecessor is, but he is building up a track record of saying what’s on his mind even when it’s not always what people necessarily want to hear.” Crane caused “a bit of a stir with his admission on Monday that the Astros name might be subject to review.” Campbell asked, “Is it a bad thing that he wants to at least explore all plausible options?” With a move to the AL having been “foisted upon Houston starting in 2013, with the team coming off its worst season in history, there is no time like the present to consider just about anything” (CHRON.com, 1/24). In Austin, Kirk Bohls noted the Astros no longer play in the Astrodome, the stadium for which the team was named after. The MLB Giants “vacated the Polo Grounds and went all the way across the country, but didn't change their name.” The same is true for the Dodgers, who “said goodbye to Brooklyn and Ebbets Field but remained the Dodgers” (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 1/25).
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