‘Belters Next to Leave for Summer Collegiate Ranks?

The Traverse City Beach Bums formally left the Frontier League (Independent Professional) on Wednesday, as new ownership announced the team would shift to the Northwoods League (Summer Collegiate) for 2019.  Are the Normal CornBelters next to depart the Frontier League?  The chatter is that the team will switch to the Prospect League (Summer Collegiate) for next season.  Read more here.

5 Comments

Filed under League & Franchise

5 responses to “‘Belters Next to Leave for Summer Collegiate Ranks?

  1. rf9

    mucking up the Detroit market has hurt the fl n the aa should capitalize on this

    • Rf9

      Per the local newspaper the belters are leaving the fl n IMO the fl needs a new loop boss since its losing markets that it can’t seem to replace

  2. Mark

    What’s the future for the Frontier League?

    • BallparkBiz

      Good question. The league has been through a lot of ups and downs since it launched in 1993, and it has always come through it. I expect they will will adjust/evolve and continue to provide a quality product, but there is no doubt the summer collegiate model is an attractive one if you want to lower costs and still choose your own players. You can still create the same experience for fans, as many summer collegiate teams have shown. One challenge is the number of home games. It may not make sense for a team like the Gateway Grizzlies who averaged 2,671 fans over 47 home dates. Giving up 10 to 15 games might not make sense. But, for a team on the lower end of the attendance spectrum, it might make sense.

    • JG

      I think they are going to lose more teams in the coming years though will still continue as a smaller league.. Having been to many Frontier League games and a handful of Prospect League games, the talent gap is there, but is pretty small when comparing the two leagues to each other. I am sure it is a larger gap as you get into comparing the higher level Indy Leagues to the lower level collegiate leagues, but I think the FL’s roster rules keep the talent level low. The FL has really failed to develop for some time – teams leaving while no new ones are added, no streaming of games except for a couple of teams despite many summer collegiate leagues streaming all of their games. I think this in particular hurts growing their fanbase. Most of the FL local media hardly covers them, if at all, so unless you physically go to most games, you are going to have a harder time following the team. Fan experience wise, families just want to have a good time. Most FL teams do no more than the SCL teams do so for the average family it does not matter whether it is professional or not. Also, if you look at the geography, the FL has really skewed to the west for several years and is now pretty unbalanced. This not only affects travel costs but also hurts any rivalries forming. I know their commissioner has been there 20+ years and that usually indicates stability, but I think in the FL’s case it has created a lack of vision and the generation of new thinking to grow their brand.

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