Backlash toward Chihuahua's a positive, says experts

Updated: Wednesday, October 23 2013, 09:56 PM MDT
Backlash toward Chihuahua
By: Melissa Gundersen
EL PASO, Texas -- Many people in the Borderland are showing backlash toward El Paso's new Triple-A baseball team's name – the Chihuahuas. But experts said the negative feedback may actually turn into a positive come game day.

It's a similar situation to the Albuquerque Isotopes. Eleven years ago Albuquerque's baseball team was replaced by a new team. That new team debuted in a renovated stadium, and began playing under a new name.

"You know, you still every once in a while hear somebody say ‘Oh jeeze, you should be the Dukes,’” said John Traub, the general manager for the Albuquerque Isotopes.

Traub said when they first took on the new name, it had a 57 percent approval rating.

"There were traditionalists who thought we should have stayed the Dukes," said Traub.

Some people compare the Isotopes' negative feedback, with what the El Paso Chihuahuas are facing right now.

"A lot of people have been saying like, ‘That’s a disgrace and what the heck's going on. Like, who ever thought about this is out of their mind,’” said Damion Rene Portello of east El Paso.

Traub said when it was game time for the Isotopes, though, the change sparked interest in fans.

"We had nearly 13,000 people here for opening night," said Traub.

More than a decade later, their merchandise now sells nationwide and they're banking in on the royalties.

"The El Paso club is probably going to experience the same thing," said Traub.

Joe Lopez, the CEO for Lopez Marketing Group in east El Paso, said what the city is experiencing is a typical public relations move.

"If it had been the Desert Gators people would have been saying great we got the name, it's a good name, we'll support it, it's over," said Lopez.

With a name people didn't expect, it's become a main topic of conversation.

"I mean, it's cool. We have something to talk about," said Portello.

In the end, both Lopez and Traub said the hype of the name will sizzle.  They said what determines success is how many smiles are in the stands.

"In the spirit of minor league baseball it's all about fun and entertainment," said Traub.
 
Experts predict to see a lot of families packing the stadium since children draw in families and children seem to like the new team name.Backlash toward Chihuahua's a positive, says experts
comments powered by Disqus

More El Paso Sports

Sacramento River Cats crush El Paso Chihuahuas 13-2
Thursday night was simply one of those nights that come along in baseball ... one of those you toss away and forget about.
Former UTEP golfer Devin Miertschin places 11 in the 48th annual Pacific Coast Amateur golf tournament
Former UTEP golfer Devin Miertschin shot a 3-under-par 67 Thursday to move into a tie for 11th place in the 48th annual Pacific Coast Amateur golf tournament at Pine Canyon Club in Flagstaff, Ariz.
Triple-A baseball: El Paso Chihuahuas break slump, beat Sacramento River Cats 16-7
Entering Wednesday's game against Sacramento, the El Paso Chihuahuas offense had struggled mightily in recent days with just three runs over the course of 33 innings.
›› Photos: El Paso Chihuahuas vs. Sacramento River Cats 07.23.14
Golf: Former Miner Devin Miertschin 14th at 48th annual Pacific Coast Amateur tournament
Former UTEP golfer Devin Miertschin is tied for 14th and current UTEP golfer Jere Pelletier is tied for 49th at the midway point of the 48th annual Pacific Coast Amateur golf tournament at Pine
Conference-USA schools set to increase scholarship money
Following the lead of the five power conferences, Conference USA schools are poised to increase scholarship money to all athletes, commissioner Britton Banowsky said at the league media day Wednesday.
UTEP football: Former Miners Brander Craighead, Joe West make mark in Calgary
Brander Craighead has covered a lot of distance in the past few months. The former UTEP tackle, who by virtue of his Canadian citizenship was always the most likely Miner to play pro football, is making his living 1,400 miles north of the Sun Bowl in the Alberta oil city of Calgary, for one of the elite teams in the CFL, the 3-0 Stampeders.
With realignment settling, UTEP and other C-USA schools can find rivals
In a sea of so much change, UTEP is celebrating something rather uncommon in a mid-tier conference: This will be their 10th year in Conference USA.
Chihuahuas outfielder Jeff Francoeur called up to Padres
El Paso Chihuahuas outfielder Jeff Francoeur has been called up to the San Diego Padres. The announcement came today.
Boxer Antonio Escalante says third alleged DWI won't delay Aug. 15 bout
Antonio Escalante said his August fight in California is still on — despite his third arrest since February for alleged drunk driving.
Triple-A Baseball: Chihuahuas fall 3-2 to Sacramento in 13 innings
Tuesday's showdown between El Paso and Sacramento had all the makings of a strong pitching matchup. El Paso sent right-handed prospect Matt Wisler to the mound, while Sacramento sent lefty Drew
Triple-A baseball: El Paso Chihuahuas game delayed due to weather
The start of tonight's El Paso Chihuahuas vs. Sacramento River Cats Triple-A baseball game has been delayed due to weather.
Triple-A baseball: El Paso Chihuahuas fall to Sacramento River Cats 6-1
For the second straight game, the El Paso Chihuahuas struggled on offense and the result was a 6-1 loss to Sacramento on Monday night at Southwest University Park in front of 7,076 fans in a game that featured a 67-minute rain delay.
›› Photos: El Paso Chihuahuas vs. Sacramento River Cats 07.21.2014
UTEP football: Miners excited as they head to Conference USA media day
Twelve months ago safety Wesley Miller was learning a new defense and quarterback Jameill Showers was learning a new team.
El Paso boxer Antonio Escalante arrested on suspicion of DWI
An El Paso boxer was arrested last week on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, his third such arrest this year.
Baseball: Padres top Mets 2-1 after Despaigne 0-hit bid ends
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Odrisamer Despaigne of the San Diego Padres lost a no-hit bid with two outs in the eighth inning when Daniel Murphy of the New York Mets doubled.

More Las Cruces Sports

Former Aggie makes PGA debut
Former New Mexico State University golfer Tim Madigan (2010) made his PGA Tour debut on Thursday in the RBC Canadian Open at the Royal Montreal Golf Course.
NMSU VOLLEYBALL: Murphy looks for expanded role
LAS CRUCES >> Gwen Murphy was one of the best volleyball players in the Western Athletic Conference at times last season.
Sun Belt commissioner expresses faith in 'Power-5'
Sun Belt commissioner expresses faith in 'Power-5'
PREP FOOTBALL: Centennial senior Cristian Cedano prepared for challenge at quarterback
LAS CRUCES >> Centennial moves into a much improved District 3-6A, which includes four Class 4A playoff teams from last season.
NMSU FOOTBALL: Aggies left off preseason Sun Belt preseason honors
NEW ORLEANS - No New Mexico State players were selected to the Sun Belt preseason All Conference list on Monday by conference football coaches and selected media members.
NMSU FOOTBALL: Aggies picked last in Sun Belt preseason coaches poll
NEW ORLEANS - After tying for the regular season championship last year, Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas State have been picked to finish first and second in the 2014 Sun Belt Football Preseason
NMSU FOOTBALL: Martin looks forward to Sun Belt media day
LAS CRUCES >> Doug Martin attended the Sun Belt media conference in New Orleans last year. The first-year New Mexico State head football coach wasn't necessarily a stranger to the teams in the
Sun Belt adds to ESPN content
NEW ORLEANS >> The Sun Belt Conference and ESPN announced a content expansion within their agreement that will result in the exclusive distribution of as many as 50 additional Sun Belt events
Las Cruces youth baseball teams raising money for national tournaments
LAS CRUCES >> To win a baseball game takes teamwork, skill and a sprinkle of luck. But getting to a national tournament, like those that three Las Cruces-based youth baseball teams have been
PREP FOOTBALL: Elite Combine showcases New Mexico talent
LAS CRUCES >> Kyle Henderson and the NMPreps.com Elite Combine are back at it next week in hopes of garnering further exposure for high school football athletes throughout New Mexico.
Las Cruces trio keep the competitive juices flowing
LAS CRUCES >> Some people spend hours in the gym lifting weights hoping to stay in shape, get ripped, socialize or kill time.
Burger Time's reach extends outside of Las Cruces
LAS CRUCES >> Even with rain and lightning shortening some players Saturday after round, the Annual Burger Time "Sandra B.
BURGER TIME GOLF TOURNAMENT: Event brings in $275,000 for all LCPS student activities (w/ video)
KVIA sports reporter Asher Wildman, right, speaks with Kevin McGrath, owner of Burger Time restaurants, during a live TV check presentation of the 21st Annual Burger Time "Sandra B.
YOUTH BASEBALL: New Mexico teams compete locally in AABC South Plains Regional
LAS CRUCES >> The Las Cruces Youth Baseball Association has been selected to host the American Amateur Baseball Congress South Plains Regional this week.
NMSU BASKETBALL: Anthony January, a four-star recruit, tweets he's coming to NMSU
LAS CRUCES >> Anthony January, rated a four-star high school basketball recruit following the 2012 season, wrote on his Twitter account Thursday evening that he will play basketball at New

Come back for updates on El Paso local sports teams. KFOX covers topics including local sports, basketball, football and other types of sports. KFOX is dedicated to providing up to date news about Local Sports for El Paso and New Mexico region.

advertisement