MADISON, AL (WAFF) - On Tuesday, WAFF 48 News talked with Madison residents about their views on the city’s new minor league baseball team and its to-be-announced name.
Locals who did have a team name preference sent a clear message: the team should be named the Trash Pandas.
Tennessee Valley residents have been voting on the team name and regional identifier since the final five options were announced in August.
The options were Comet Jockeys, Moon Possums, Space Chimps, Thundersharks or Trash Pandas. The regional identifiers could include Madison, Rocket City or North Alabama.
Team owner BallCorps LLC is announcing the team name Wednesday.
Madison resident Angie White said she supports Trash Pandas because of the the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The universe features a talking raccoon named Rocket.
"This is Rocket City, so Trash Pandas, Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket Raccoon, it just makes the most sense to me," she said.
Madison second-grader Caleb Peterson said he’s also for the name because it’s “awesome.”
His third grade brother, Alex, agreed and said a raccoon’s ravenous appetite would reflect the teams hunger for victory.
Madison eighth-grader Jamal Mayers said he supports Trash Pandas because it’s the funniest option.
WAFF 48 News spoke to other locals who didn't have an opinion and some, like Madison resident Avery Heffernan, who didn't like any of the options.
“It’s got to be a name you’ve go to get behind, you can’t be like ‘let’s go, Trash Pandas.’ It’s not very inspiring,” he said.
Heffernan said he wants the regional identifier to be Madison because the team will be stadium will be in the city.
The name game may be whimsical, but it could have financial implications.
City of Madison communications specialist Samantha Magnuson said the Madison City Council will have to approve the regional identifier if it’s not Madison.
If an identifier other than Madison is agreed upon, the city’s financial obligation to the team will decrease.
City Council President Tommy Overcash declined an opportunity to interview but said the city would pay 30 percent of the stadium utilities if the name is Rocket City or North Alabama, as compared to 40 percent if the identifier is Madison.
The City of Madison has already borrowed $46 million for the project.
BallCorps LLC Vice President Jenny Askins said the company will work closely with the council if the issues does come up, but called the public’s support of the winning identifier-name combination “a landslide.”