The Shovel City (Marion, OH) Crawlers from the first-year, four-team Independent Baseball League reportedly folded a month ago, leaving the Tiffin (OH) Saints, Adrian (MI) Pioneers, and the traveling Ohio Travelers to carry the circuit for rest of the 2014 season. Read more here. Now a man claiming to be the Pioneers former general manager is sharing his not-so-kind thoughts on a public forum. Read postings here.
Category Archives: Money & Financials
The City of Biloxi (MS) has trimmed enough off of the cost of the planned minor league baseball stadium that it is now ready to move forward with construction, according to a release from the city Friday. Read more here.
In a four to one vote, the Columbia City Council approved a new ordinance allowing the city to issue Special Obligation Bonds to raise no more than $35 million to pay for the construction of the proposed multi-use baseball stadium and facilities, equipment and improvements at the Bull Street development. Read more here and here.
Hartford officials say they have dropped a $60 million public financing plan for a minor league baseball stadium and will seek private investment instead, following criticism by city residents about the cost to taxpayers. Read more here.
Biloxi (MS) city officials learned Wednesday that the lowest contractor bid for a new stadium was at $32.27 million, some $5 million more than the initial budget. This could keep the team in Huntsville (AL) for the 2015 season. Read more here. Meanwhile, Biloxi Baseball’s name-the-team contest has eneded with 60,000 votes. Read more here. Meanwhile Huntsville wants new team. Read more here.
Here we go again with the Bryant and Pierce show, as the ownership of the indy pro San Angelo Colts (United League), led by former Congressman John Bryant, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which will stay a foreclosure action and keep the team in operation. The Colts recently received notice of foreclosure from their lender on the stadium note for Foster Field, where the team plays. Read more here.
Take bigger crowds, add higher average spending per person and the result is enough hot dogs, beer and sodas sold to triple what the Triple-A Charlotte Knights (International League) did last season. Read more here.
Orange County (FL) commissioners were set to vote Tuesday on a key funding mechanism needed to build a new stadium at Rollins College for the Tars and the Single-A Brevard County Manatees (Florida State League), but that vote was put off because of concerns by Rollins’ board of trustees. Read more here.
Monroe County and the Rochester Red Wings are seeking $4.5 million from the state for a $7.5 million makeover of Frontier Field, which could include a baseball museum in the old firehouse, installing a new field, revamping the concourse and suites and improving the front gate entrance. Read more here.
The Columbia (SC) City Council moved ahead Tuesday on borrowing $35 million for a minor-league baseball stadium, ignoring a last-ditch effort to let voters decide the issue. Mayor Steve Benjamin justified the move by saying people elect the council to make decisions, and the council takes out loans for millions in projects – to build sidewalks, buy police cars, improve water and sewage service. Read more here.
Ken Oberkfell, former field manager of the now-defunct indy pro Newark Bears (Can-Am League), paints a depressing picture of bumbling mismanagement of the club by owners Douglas Spiel and his wife, Danielle Dronet. Oberkfell is now field manager for the indy pro Lincoln SaltDogs (American Association). Spiel and Dronet are reportedly no longer a couple. Read more here. Thanks to John Cerone for the link.
Saul B. Katz, who owns a majority share of the Mets in a partnership with his brother-in-law and business partner, Fred Wilpon, has reportedly expressed a desire to sell his portion of the team. Read more here. Thanks to John Cerone for the link.
Developer Mike Zimmerman is dropping his proposal for city-financed baseball stadium in Franklin (WI) for an indy pro Frontier League franchise, even as local officials say they’ll continue studying the issue after again rejecting a financing plan. Zimmerman called the decision by elected officials an “epic failure” and said the project is “dead.” Read more here.
The now-defunct indy pro Newark Bears (Can-Am League) held a liquidation sale today at Riverfront Stadium in Newark (NJ). As one attendee reported to us, owner Doug Spiel apparently stopped the auction after a mere 3 1/2 hours and said the remaining available items (only 10 percent sold, we hear) would be sold in lots for more money. Attendees apparently weren’t too happy about the Continue reading
The Franklin (WI) Common Council voted 6-0 Tuesday to reject a plan to provide $10.5 million in tax increment financing for a new ballpark for an indy pro Frontier League franchise, but city officials once again left open the possibility of the plan resurfacing. Read more here.
Franklin (WI) officials, pursuing the potential for $100 million in development that would create a new downtown for the Milwaukee County suburb, endorsed a $10.5 million deal for the construction of a new indy pro Frontier League baseball stadium that would serve as a catalyst to spur private commercial projects. The Common Council is scheduled to meet April 22 to vote on the plan. Read more here.
The city of Cleveland is spending $6.3 million to restore and renovate what’s left of historic League Park, where the Cleveland Indians played in the early 1900s. The project includes installation of an artificial turf baseball field. Read more and view photo gallery here. Go to LeaguePark.org. Go to League Park Wiki page.
By a vote of 4-3, the Columbia (SC) City Council has agreed to hire Hardball Capital of Atlanta to bring a minor-league team to Columbia and operate a yet-to-be-built stadium. This was the first step toward spending $29 million in public money for a $35 million year-round facility. Read more here.
A proposal for Franklin (WI) taxpayers to borrow $10.5 million to build a minor league baseball park for an indy pro Frontier League franchise is apparently dead, after a city task force voted 4-0 Wednesday night to reject the funding plan from Mike Zimmerman. But a different city proposal to help finance the stadium at The Rock sports complex might be forthcoming. Read more here.
The Ocala (FL) City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to end the city’s purchase and sale agreement with Ocala Trophy Ltd., which owned the land where a proposed new stadium would have been build for the Single-A Tampa Yankees (Florida State League), if approved by voters. Read more here.
Randy Levine, president of the New York Yankees, debates Mike McKee, Bloomberg’s Economics Editor, over the value of using taxpayers dollars to renovate or build new ballparks for spring training. Watch debate here.
As the Major League Baseball season gets rolling, the folks over at Swimmingly have put together an infographic that shows the cost of scoreboard marriage proposals at every MLB ballpark. Prices range from $39 at PNC Field, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, to $2,500 at Dodger Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Some teams apparently don’t allow such proposals. Read more and view infographic here.
The New York Mets’ ballpark-related revenue reported to regulators dropped for the fourth straight year in 2013, down nearly 34 percent since Citi Field opened in 2009. Read more here.
As MLB teams head home shortly from spring training to prepare for their regular-season openers, a lack of development and uncertain funding from the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority could leave Glendale and Goodyear (AZ) in tough financial spots after backing the construction of new spring-training ballparks. Read more here.
Ramapo (NY) has agreed to fork over a $125,000 fine and create 2.2 acres of new wetlands after admitting it broke federal environmental laws to pave way for a new ballpark for the indy pro Rockland Boulders (Can-Am League). The project is still under investigation by the FBI over its financing. Read more here.
Because the proposed new ballpark for the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s (Pacific Coast League) is slated for the planned community of Summerlin outside the city limits of Las Vegas, it is unlikely that public dollars from Sin City will be made available for the project. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman made the following three suggestions: Continue reading
The Palm Beach County Commission Tuesday gave its endorsement to trying to craft a deal with the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals that could include building a $100 million stadium and training facility that would host both teams for spring training. Read more and watch news report here.
The Houston Astros and Washington Nationals may have to take a swing at getting Florida lawmakers to contribute up to $50 million in state funds quicker than a 37-year period in order to strike a deal for a new $100 million spring training stadium in Palm Beach County (FL) to host the two teams. Read more here.
Some fans of the indy pro St. Paul Saints (American Association) are reportedly up in arms over the reality that the comfortable seatback chairs with cupholders behind home plate at the new Lowertown ballpark will be more expensive than the crappy bleacher seats behind home plate at Midway Stadium. Saints GM Derek Sharrer does a nice job explaining the pricing. Watch news report here. Read more here.
The Virginia House of Delegates on Wednesday passed a bill that would allow the city of Fredericksburg (VA) to capture additional revenue from its planned minor league baseball complex to be built to house the relocating Single-A Hagerstown Suns (South Atlantic League). Read more here.