Harrisburg Senators’ Team President Kevin Kulp strode to the makeshift podium at the team’s media day on Tuesday afternoon. As he cleared his throat and started his statement, it was clear that this was no ordinary announcement. Possibly a fantastic promotion or celebrity appearance coming to Metro Bank Park later in the season. Perhaps a new and powerful corporate partner that would once again change the naming rights to the stadium. You would have never guessed that the team was going to reveal a stunning change of name from the Senators to the Mayflies.
Announcements like this have become commonplace lately, but that doesn’t make it any less of a shock to the system. Perhaps the club thought it needed to modernize it’s image or generate more revenue through new merchandise. Regardless, Kulp is aware that not everyone is going to be happy with the change. “In reviewing our options, we looked closely at the issues Reading had when they transitioned to the Fightin Phils with an ostrich as their main logo. Last season there was an actual groundswell by some diehard fans to boycott their team and obviously we didn’t want that here.”
First of all, let me say that I obviously love the name Mayflies and I believe it’s a nod to what makes Harrisburg and baseball on City Island unique. Otherwise however, there is a history with the Senators name that is clearly ingrained in the community here. On movement of the franchise from Nashua to Harrisburg in December 1986, owner Jerry Mileur and president Scott Carter suggested the name as a way to pay homage to the previous incarnations of the team. Lots of fans and season-ticket holders are bound to be upset by the name change and I appreciate their concerns. Surely though they have to also understand the need for this rebranding with the economic feasibility and increased relevance as the team moves forward.
UPDATE: Yes, this was a well-orchestrated ruse that was initiated by the Senators. But I had a little fun with it too…if you don’t believe me, just check out the first letter of each sentence above.