Category Archives: Lease & Contracts

NYC Committing $5.1M to Upgrade Richmond County Bank Ballpark

New York City has committed to a $5.1 million allocation to upgrade and revitalize Richmond County Bank Ballpark, which will prime it for other uses besides baseball. The funding comes on the heels of recent news that the New York Yankees would end its affiliation with the Staten Island Yankees (Single-A, New York-Penn League).  Read more here.

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Dodgers to Officially Cut Ties with Raptors

In expected news, the Los Angeles Dodgers will reportedly cut ties with Ogden Raptors (Rookie-level, Pioneer League), as part of the downsizing scheduled to take place across the minor leagues for the 2021 season.  Read more here.   Read more local news here.

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Former AirHogs Ballpark to Become Venue for Major League Cricket

Major League Cricket has leased a 5,400-seat minor league baseball stadium in Grand Prairie, Texas, and will turn the venue into a cricket stadium for the league’s inaugural 2022 season.  Read more here.  The ballpark was the home of the now-defunct Texas/Grand Prairie AirHogs (Independent Professional, American Association).  Read more here.

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Twins Drop Triple-A Rochester, Look to Affiliatize Independent Professional St. Paul Saints

The Minnesota Twins are looking for a new top farm team, after officially informing the Rochester Red Wings (Triple-A, International League) that they are out.  The St. Paul Saints (Independent Professional, American Association) are the targeted replacement.  Read more here.

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Statement by Minor League Baseball

PRESS RELEASE – The Chairman of Minor League Baseball’s Professional Baseball Agreement negotiating committee, D.G. Elmore, issued the following statement today: Continue reading

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Frontier League Adds Ottawa to Lineup, Ownership Group Led by Goldeyes’ Sam Katz

PRESS RELEASE – The Frontier League has announced the granting of an expansion membership to Ottawa, Ontario, to begin play in the 2021 season. Ottawa becomes the 15th Frontier League team and the third in Canada, joining the Quebec Capitales and Trois-Rivieres Aigles.

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Frontier League Designated as Partner League of MLB

PRESS RELEASE – Major League Baseball (MLB) announced today that it has named the Frontier League as a “Partner Leagues” of MLB. The Frontier League, along with the American Association, join the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB), which was designated a Partner League earlier this week.

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American Association, Frontier League Designated as Partner Leagues of MLB

PRESS RELEASE – Major League Baseball (MLB) announced today that it has named both the American Association and the Frontier League as “Partner Leagues” of MLB. The American Association and the Frontier League join the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB), which was designated a Partner League earlier this week.

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Atlantic League Designated Partner League of MLB

PRESS RELEASE – Major League Baseball (MLB) announced today that it has named the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) its first “Partner League”. As a Partner League, ALPB will meet regularly with MLB to discuss joint marketing and promotional opportunities, including the leagues’ shared goal of providing baseball to communities throughout the United States. Continue reading

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Lafayette Aviators Selected to Lease New Loeb Stadium

PRESS RELEASE – The City of Lafayette and Lafayette Board of Parks & Recreation are pleased to announce that the Lafayette Aviators have been named the baseball team to play in Loeb Stadium. The announcement was made during a Park Board meeting at the Loeb Stadium construction site.

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Statement from Minor League Baseball

PRESS RELEASE – Minor League Baseball™ (MiLB™) issued the following statement regarding a pair of articles published in recent weeks regarding the state of the Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA): Continue reading

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MiLB Statement Today Regarding RBA Negotiations and Letter to MLB Commissioner

Minor League Baseball (MiLB) issued a statement today regarding the state of the Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA) negotiations with Major League Baseball.  Read statement here.  A letter was also sent last week by Minor League Baseball to MLB Commissioner Rob ManfredRead letter here.

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Schaumburg’s Village Expected to Approve Revised Ballpark Lease with Boomers

Three months after becoming sole owners of Schaumburg Boomers Stadium, village officials are poised tonight to enact revisions to the baseball team’s lease agreement they say are in the best interests of both parties.  Read more here.

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It’s a No Go for Prospect League at Millikin University’s New Ballpark

Millikin University and the Prospect League (Summer Collegiate) could not come to an agreement to bring a franchise to the new Workman Family Baseball Field for the summer of 2020.  A stumbling block to securing an agreement was reportedly over the length of the proposed 10-year contract between the potential team owners and the university.  Read more here.  View original renderings here.

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Louisiana Tech Helps Keep Smith-Wills Stadium in Business

The Ruston (LA)-based Louisiana Teach University Bulldogs baseball team is scheduled to play in nine conference games at Smith-Wills Stadium in Jackson (MS) in 2020.  The team was forced to move out of their home ballpark because of an  April 2019 tornado.  Smith-Wills has narrowly avoided demolition and was leased to a new sports management group last year.  Read more and view photo here.

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Fire Frogs to Play in North Port

The Florida Fire Frogs (Single-A, Florida State League) finally have a (temporary) home.  Minor League Baseball has approved the Fire Frogs to play at the Atlanta Braves’ new North Port facility for the 2020 season.  The decision gives some finality to a question that hung over the team all offseason.  Read more here.

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U.S. Sen. Blumenthal (CT) Sends Letter to MLB Commissioner

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal has become the latest Connecticut official to urge Major League Baseball to save the minor league team in Norwich (CT), warning congressional action might be taken.  Read more here.

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The Future of Dutchess Stadium

The long-term future of Dutchess Stadium and its tenants, the Hudson Valley Renegades, remains uncertain pending a new agreement between Major League Baseball and its 162 minor league teams.  Read more here.

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County Agrees to Sell Land to A’s

The Alameda County (CA) Board of Supervisors voted Monday to sell its ownership in the Coliseum complex to the Oakland A’s, capping a years-long effort by the county to get out of the sports business and all but securing the baseball team’s future in the East Bay.  Read more here.

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Angel Stadium Sold to Angels

The Anaheim City Council on Friday approved a $325 million sale of Angel Stadium.  The decision is one of a three-step proposal that would see the Angels play in Anaheim through 2050.  It also includes potential development around the stadium and community benefits.  Read more here.

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MLB Threats Take PBA Negotiations with MiLB to the Brink

Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball shared the same Las Vegas hotel at last year’s Winter Meetings. A year later, the MLB contingent was at the Grand Hyatt, while MiLB was housed at a Hilton down the road. Physically, the two groups were separated by only a mile. After a few rounds of negotiations—both in conference rooms and in the media—the sides appear much farther apart.  Read more from Baseball America here.

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Minor League Baseball Position on Key PBA Issues

PRESS RELEASE – During this week’s Baseball Winter Meetings in San Diego, representatives from Minor League Baseball (MiLB) and Major League Baseball (MLB) engaged in formal and informal discussions regarding the Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA) that were cordial and productive. Following those meetings, MLB has repeatedly and inaccurately stated the position of MiLB with respect to several key areas under consideration in the PBA negotiations. To correct the record, Minor League Baseball’s positions on the key areas are as follows:  Read more here.

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Vote Today on Future of Mobile’s Hank Aaron Stadium

A big vote is happening today for the future of Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile (AL).  Since the Mobile BayBears (Double-A, Southern League) packed their bags and moved to a new home in North Alabama, questions have swirled about the future of this historic ballpark.  Read more and watch news report here.

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Communities, Congress Fighting Back Against MLB’s Minor League Contraction Plan

Norwich (CT) Mayor Peter Nystrom says he plans to fight hard to preserve his town’s little piece of Americana — the soon-to-be-renamed Connecticut Tigers (we’re hoping for Narwhals) (Single-A, New York-Penn League).  Mayor Norstrom stated:

I’m writing to every municipality affected by this.  These are community centers.  Dodd Stadium is a community center.  To me, this is a stab in the back.

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, who represents Norwich, said he believes MLB has underestimated the clout these communities have.  He co-authored a letter signed by over 100 colleagues to MLB officials outlining the negative implications of contraction and reminding them Congress has the power to reconsider the league’s antitrust exemption.  MLB respondedRead more here.

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MLB Proposes Radical Restructuring of Farm System, Would Eliminate 40 Teams and Cut Draft in Half

The Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA) between Major League Baseball and minor league teams expires at the end of the 2020 season.  But if a new MLB proposal were to become reality, more than three dozen cities with affiliated minor league teams will lose those teams a year from now and thousands of minor league players will be out of work as well.  Read more here, here and here.

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Statement From the T-Bones About Sale of Franchise

PRESS RELEASE – The Kansas City T-Bones are progressing toward a sale and are scheduled to complete the sale this week.  The incoming owner has been in close negotiations and planning with the Unified Government, all for the sake of setting the table for continued American Association professional baseball in Wyandotte County. Continue reading

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Group Forms to Manage Mobile’s Hank Aaron Stadium

Two former Mobile BayBears (Double-A, Southern League) assistant general managers are now part of a new company working on a plan to manage Hank Aaron Stadium, which is losing it’s team to a new ballpark near Huntsville (AL).  It’s called Mobile Sports and Entertainment Group, or MSEG, and the owners plans go beyond, but include, baseball. Read more here.

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Expedition League’s Hotshots Suspend Operations

After two seasons in Aberdeen (SD), the Hub City Hotshots (Summer Collegiate, Expedition League) have suspended operations for the 2020 season.  As reported, in a letter from Expedition League President Steve Wagner, who took over operation of the Hotshots this summer, he cited neglect by former team owners Chuck and Mayra Heeman.  Read more here.  Read more background here.

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Marshall U. Secures Land for New Ballpark

Marshall University has completed the purchase of the Flint Group Pigments property in Huntington (WV) from the Huntington Municipal Development Authority.  The land will be used to construct the Thundering Herd’s new baseball stadium, which is set to open in Huntington in March 2021.  Read more here.

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Naming Rights Contract for Routine Field Not Signed, Lawsuit Filed

The company for which Routine Field is named is suing the developer of that Franklin baseball park, claiming it is using its name and logo without approval.  Franklin-based baseball apparel company Routine Baseball LLC says it approved a nonbinding letter of intent to sign a naming rights contract with Ballpark Commons LLC, which operates the stadium.  Read more here.  View ballpark photos here.

 

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T-Bones Evicted from Ballpark

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City Kansas will evict the Kansas City T-Bones (Independent Professional, American Association) from the county-owned stadium in Village West after the independent league team went months without paying rent and utilities.  Read more here.

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No Kicking Angels Out of Angel Stadium

The one-year ballpark lease extension the council approved with the Los Angeles Angels in January didn’t mean the current lease would expire when the extension does.  As a result, the Angels could choose between a new or renovated stadium in Anaheim, a proposed waterfront ballpark in Long Beach, or simply play out their current lease, which extends through 2029.  Read more here.

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Land Sale Agreement Advances Thundering Herd Ballpark Project

Members of the Huntington Municipal Development Authority agreed Monday to sell the future site of the planned Marshall University baseball stadium to the university.  Construction of the the $22-million, 3,500-seat stadium is slated to be placed out for bid by November 2019 with ground breaking by March 2020.  Read more here.

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Prospects Make Pitch for Lease Extension, Future Unclear

With its four-year lease expiring in March 2020, the Edmonton Prospects (Summer Collegiate, Western Canadian Baseball League) has submitted a tenancy proposal for a 10-year lease of Re/Max Field.  But it’s not the only group vying for the anchor space around a larger redevelopment of the surrounding neighborhood.  Read more here.

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Ducks Sign 10-Year Ballpark Lease Extension

The Long Island Ducks (Independent Professional, Atlantic League) celebrated 20 seasons of baseball Friday, and at least 10 more are on the way.  As a capper to the pregame ceremony honoring the milestone before the Ducks faced the High Point Rockers at Bethpage Ballpark, team founder and CEO Frank Boulton signed a 10-year extension on the ballpark’s lease with Suffolk County.  Read more here.  Thanks to John Cerone for the heads up.

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Atlantic League In, Coastal Plain League Out in Gastonia?

Gastonia (NC) leaders are leaning toward a new partnership that would bring a professional baseball franchise to the city, with the team playing in a new stadium just west of downtown and the ownership group also managing the multipurpose facility.  Read more here.

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Portland Diamond Project Signs Labor Agreement

Despite not having a Major League Baseball team yet, the Portland Diamond Project signed a labor agreement with the Oregon Arm of the American Federation of Labor.  That means future employees in concessions, retail, maintenance, media and more could organize and join a union.  Read more and watch news report here.

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Move to Rental Fee Will Keep Champions at Ottawa Stadium for Now

The city of Ottawa (ON) has ended the Ottawa Champions’ (Independent Professional, Can-Am League) lease at the municipal baseball stadium, but a deal has been made so that the team pays a rental fee, just like any other league or team renting city ball fields.  Miles Wolff said the club had been talking with the city for nearly two years about the terms of the 10-year stadium lease to find some way to make it more “livable.”  Under the terms of the original lease, the rent was over $400,000 a year.  The team is reportedly in arrears.  One missing piece to the Champions’ success model is the critical Confederation LRT station that was supposed to open in mid-2018, and it still doesn’t have an opening date set.   Read more here.

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Rays’ Sternberg Makes First Public Comments About Playing in Two Home Ballparks

At times wistful and at other times defensive, Stu Sternberg made his first public comments since Commissioner Rob Manfred surprised the baseball world last week by announcing that he’d granted the Tampa Bay Rays permission to explore splitting home games between Tampa Bay (FL) and Montreal (QC).  Read more and watch full press conference here.

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Jammers Secure Ballpark Lease, Will Return to Action in 2020

With the stroke of a pen on Monday afternoon, the lease to use Russell E. Deithrick Jr. Park in Jamestown (NY) was transferred to Jamestown Community Baseball LLC, which will bring the Jamestown Jammers (Summer Collegiate, Perfect Game League) back to the park for at least the next six (6) years starting in 2020.  Read more here.

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