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US Airways ends another international route from CLT

The destination would be Ottawa, Canada, which the airline has served for five years now nonstop from the Queen City. Flights end in early June.

Analysis tomorrow.

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Daytona Rising

Dan Daley of Sports Video Group has an informative article out about Daytona International Speedway’s $400 million ‘Daytona Rising’ updates. A sample:

At a press conference two days before the race, Brandon McNulty, CTO of International Speedway Corp., which owns 13 NASCAR tracks laid out the nuts and bolts of Daytona’s new infrastructure: 4,268 miles of fiber-optic cabling and 150 miles of speaker cable; more than 9,200 network data points; 1 PB of storage, enough to accommodate 1,200 hours of HD video; 700 HD video displays throughout the interior of the grandstand; and more than 3,000 speakers for both distributed and PA sound systems.

“We’re bringing to Daytona the foundational technology to create the first motorsports stadium,” McNulty said. “With these technology platforms, we can create the kind of experience that motorsports fans have never had at a motor speedway before.”

If that’s the standard for the future, it certainly sets an expensive hurdle for tracks to clear going forward.

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More trouble for amateur sports complex

As in the city’s would be partner in the venture, Goodsports enterprises, has asked for a year’s delay in the project as it continues to have trouble securing financing. This should be a sign for the city to run away from this idea as quickly as possible. Given the obvious lack of business acumen possessed by city decision makers, elected and unelected, (see: Panthers stadium negotiations), that unfortunately doesn’t likely to happen.

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Some hockey stories of interest

Yes, I have a soft spot in my hear for ice hockey.

• What’s wrong with the Carolina Hurricanes, in four sentences:

It’s one thing to identify the Carolina Hurricanes as sellers as we head toward the March 2 trade deadline. It’s another thing to consider whether there are any buyers that will come anywhere near the Hurricanes’ wares.

Example: Carolina has $28.95 million committed to Eric Staal and Jordan Staal, Alexander Semin and netminder Cam Ward next season. That’s not good.

Read more of Scott Burnside’s story for ESPN here.

• An NHL team in Las Vegas? Yes, it could happen, says Scott Burnside. And an arena is already under construction there.

• The NHL in Seattle? That’s also a possibility but probably not before 2019, writes ESPN’s Craig Custance.

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Asheville 3, Kinston 1, Charlotte 0

That would be the number of James Beard award semifinalist nominations for several communities across the state. (There were nine total, the rest were in the Triangle.) Not a good day at all for Charlotte’s culinary scene — and that’s especially the case as we have a culinary school here in town with CPCC also having a noted culinary program.

H/t: JAT

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Fowler: Danica just kind of a middle-of-the-pack driver

So it seems that the Charlotte Observer’s Scott Fowler has finally discovered that Danica Patrick is a mediocre NASCAR driver:

Don’t let the drama obscure the truth, though: Patrick is not going to win Sunday, because she never does.

The time for people making excuses for Patrick – she doesn’t have the experience, she’s getting closer, she’s had a lot of bad luck – is long past.

The stark truth is that Patrick isn’t good enough to win in NASCAR’s top series. Not only that, she’s often not good enough to run anywhere but in the middle or back of the pack.


Before Patrick ever got into NASCAR full-time, I always wanted her to join the series and stop racing those IndyCars (where she had more success). Like everyone, I was curious as to how she would do.

I relished the idea that she might anger some of NASCAR’s good ol’ boys by winning some of the races they thought she shouldn’t win.

Did Danica have more success in IndyCars? Yes. She actually was a winner there. Once. And only once. Given that IndyCar fields are significantly smaller than NASCAR fields, it’s unclear why anyone who was paying attention thought she’s actually excel in stock cars.

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This is just kind of odd if you consider the demographics: WEND, Charlotte’s (kind of) alternative rock station is going to carry NASCAR races. Check that, it’s more than a little odd… and so much for whatever indie street cred WEND still had.

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More United Airlines flight reductions in Charlotte

This is a picture of a United Airlines jet in Charlotte. It’s a sight seen out at Charlotte Douglas International Airport for many, many years. It’s also something you won’t be seeing again for awhile.


Yes, that’s right. As of last week, United has ended mainline service to Charlotte until at least June, though service will continue on United Express regional jets to Chicago O’Hare, Newark, Houston Intercontinental, and Washington Dulles. This is also just the latest cut made by the airline in Charlotte. A comparison of February 2015 flights to the combined flight offerings of United and Continental in February 2010, which was before they merged, shows a 53 percent reduction in available seats from CLT :

February 2010: 27 combined flights to five destinations, which breaks down as:

Continental: 18 flights to three destinations (CLE, EWR, IAH) with 5 737 mainline jets and 13 50-seat regional jets. Total seats: About 1,286

United: 9 flights to two destinations (ORD, IAD) with two Airbus A319 mainline jets and seven flights on large regional jets with a first class section. Total seats: 722

Combined Continental and United total seats available: just over 2,000 a day

February 2015: 18 flights to four destinations (no Cleveland) with three flights on large regional jets with a first class section and 15 flights a day on 50-seaters. Total seats a day: 952


So what’s the future hold for United in Charlotte? Glad you asked. The airline has just released its projected fleet plan for 2015. Highlights:

Mainline: Adding 11 787s and 25 737s while retiring 2 747s and 13 757s — so plus 9 widebodies and 12 narrowbody jets

Regional: United is retiring 20 percent of existing fleet of 566 regional aircraft this year, including 15 of its 115 66-seat CRJ-700s large regional jets and 80 of its 322 50-seat or smaller regional jets. 49 very nice 76-seat Embrear 175s will be brought in as replacements. Still, you do the math, and it’s a net negative. So overall, going forward, we’re likely to be breaking even at capacity at best, though likely with fewer flights though on larger aircraft.

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Fox News analyst Jonathan Hoenig to speak in Charlotte

Next Wednesday, February 25th at 7:30pm (doors at 7:00pm) at the Charlotte Scottish Rite Temple (4740 Randolph Road, Charlotte, NC 28211). Free admission (can’t beat that). Topic: “The End of Americanism….And How To Restore It” followed by Q & A.

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College basketball lacking in pace

Andrew Carter of the Raleigh News & Observer, available here via the Winston-Salem Journal, has an interesting column out on the state of college basketball. The key point:

It’s time – past time – for the powers in college basketball to make a similar effort, as [NBA Commissioner David] Stern did in the NBA, to restore beauty to the game. College basketball, in the ACC and well beyond, has turned into a slow, plodding, often painful-to-watch affair. To put it simply: The game needs help.
Let’s start, for one, with pace of play. Ten years ago, according to data on, six of the ACC’s 12 teams averaged at least 70 possessions in conference games. Now? Nobody does.
The league’s “quickest” team in ACC games, Wake Forest, is averaging 67.8 possessions per game, which would have put the Deacons 10th in the ACC back during the 2004-05 season.

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February 2015
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