Written By: Dave Parks
The Colorado Rams have now become the DENVER GRIZZLIES!!!
After much debate about Relocation, as well as many lengthy discussions with Governors and City Councils regarding Stadium deals in New Orleans Louisiana, Oklahoma City Oklahoma, Reykjavik Iceland, Omaha Nebraska, and Kansas City Kansas, In the end a deal was reached with the State of Colorado and the City of Denver for the team to remain where it began, with promises of Stadium Renovation for a full remodel to a more pitcher friendly park and a new name and identity that has a little more bite and appeal to the fan base.
“It was our preference all along to remain home, but we did not have any cooperation initially from the city of Denver or the state of Colorado in making headway. It took embarking and an exploration committee making real headway towards a relocation to grease the wheels of bureaucracy at the higher levels and get a deal done to remain home.
Renaming the team with the local City of Denver was critical to our improved fan relations and attendance, ” GM Dave Parks said, “as many locals felt that a Colorado named team alienated the locals with the feeling the Rams had been a State owned team that was dumped in their back yard. The Grizzlies also gives us a strong name with a Powerful Mascot who is prominent both in the Colorado region and throughout the rocky mountain region. We wanted an Identity change, and this has given us exactly that, while not changing our roots and foundation. Its an extreme makeover, with a cosmetic makeover to our name and a real makeover to our stadium, which will not completely take us away from our thin air roots, as it will still be one of the most offense friendly parks in the NBL, but it will not ne a nightmare for pitchers either. Modeled after the old Camden Yards, the Stadium will be named the “The Grizzlies Lair at Mile High”, and the team colors will be Black and Red, with even a little yellow trim around Black lettering on the road and alternate Jerseys. We are happy to have re-invented ourselves and we are thrilled that it comes at a time when we are also re-inventing ourselves on the field. We put some distance between bad contracts and bad players over the past season, and pairing a few free agent signings this offseason, plus last seasons offseason additions, a key trade, and the arrival of much of our young talent, we anticipate a new day for our franchise as we embark in our new direction!”
When Asked how the team arrived at the new moniker, Parks responded “In deciding on the Grizzlies, we hired several pollsters to do polling with a number of different names, including the Blizzard, Grizzlies, Moose, Mountaineers, and Centennials. The Grizzlies came out on top of the polls, with the highest rating among fans from the 12-17 and 18-45 Age groups, where the Blizzard and Moose placed 2nd and third, and Grizzlies 2nd in the 46-65 and 66+ Age groups, where the Mountaineers(46-65) and Centennials (66+) each finished first. The Grizzlies also finished tied for 1st with the moose in the under 12 fan base category, so in addition to being having the broadest appeal across the different demographics, it also connects us to the younger and future generations of Grizzlies fans! The Grizzlies also gives us a strong name with a Powerful Mascot who is prominent both in the Colorado region and throughout the rocky mountain Region to keep us connected to a larger fanbase beyond the state of Colorado and maybe helps brings more fans from throughout the rocky mountain region to visit more games!”
It will be an interesting season as the Grizzlies embark on a new journey…..especially as rumors from Vegas put the franchise as a possible favorite to win the Western Conference Midwest Division, after 4 consecutive last place finishes, a worst – to- first finish would certainly be noteworthy even if they fall short of the ultimate prize!!