Category Archives: Legal

The Latest on Boise Ballpark Saga

A professional, multi-sports stadium complex in the Treasure Valley has been a topic that has been white-hot over the past few years.  And now, after going cold for a few months, the project maybe warming up again.  Watch news report here.  Read more here.

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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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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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Details Emerge of MLB’s Master Plan to Contract MiLB Lineup

In recent weeks, details of the plan have been slowly leaking out, the MLB spin being it’s designed to (1) upgrade all the minor league facilities and (2) improve “wellness” for the minor leaguers in terms of travel and living conditions.  In truth, as always, it’s designed to save money, lots of money, and the proprietors of these minor league teams, many of whom have their life savings invested in them, be damned.  Read more hereRead about the Erie SeaWolves and Connecticut Tigers here.  Read concerns in Erie (PA) about the SeaWolves here.  Read about the fight brewing in Daytona (FL) over the Tortugas here.

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Talks Resume Between City and Team Over Coliseum Site

Talks between the City of Oakland and the Oakland A’s over a new ballpark resumed Wednesday, but without any agreement by the City to drop its lawsuit aimed at blocking the team from buying Alameda County’s half-share of the Coliseum site.  Read more here.

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$5,000 Reward Offered in Mallards Arson Case

As reported last week, the merchandise shop at the home of the Madison Mallards (Summer Collegiate, Northwoods League) suffered significant damage because of a fire, including a collapsed roof.  Arson is suspected.  There is now a $5,000 reward being offered for information leading to an arrest in the case.  Read more here.

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Fire Frogs Headed Back to Brevard County?

It appears the homeless Florida Fire Frogs (Single-A, Florida State League) could be headed back to Brevard County (FL), if a deal to sell the team to Cocoa Baseball Group LLC is indeed consummated.  In a motion filed with the Orange County Clerk of Courts on Oct.  7 (“Tennessee Manatee’s Emergency Motion for Order Requiring Sale of the Club Pursuant to Cocoa Baseball Club, LLC Purchase Agreement to Avoid Forfeiture of that Asset”), it includes details of a Management Agreement dated Oct. 3, 2019 (“Exhibit 3”), which provides the following: Continue reading

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Cooling Down Impact Field: Settlement Reached in HVAC Dispute

It could take up to a year to fix the heating and cooling system at Impact Field, home of the Chicago Dogs (Independent Professional, American Association), after a settlement was reached with the subcontractor who installed the HVAC system in the $63-million, 6,300-seat ballpark in Rosemont (IL) that opened in May 2018.  Read more here.

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World Series Opponents on the Field, Teammates in Legal Fight Over Spring Training Ballpark

The Houston Astros and Washington Nationals are preparing to face off in Major League Baseball’s first World Series between teams that share the same spring training complex — the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach (FL).  Off the field, the fall classic opponents are reluctant teammates in a protracted legal fight with the contractors who built their $153 million spring home.  More than three years after the complex opened, at least three companies say they’re still owed millions of dollars.  Read more here.

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Governor Signs Bills to Help Advance A’s Ballpark Plans

Amid new threats the Oakland Athletics could move to Las Vegas if a lawsuit by the city of Oakland is not dropped, the state capital has signaled its support for a new ballpark in downtown Oakland. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two Oakland-centric ballpark bills last week, each sponsored by local state officials, which will streamline the regulatory process and help fund infrastructure around the proposed site.  Read more here.

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Manfred to Oakland: Drop Lawsuit or Risk Losing A’s

In an exclusive interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred left no doubt that the city of Oakland’s lawsuit to stop Alameda County from selling its portion of the Coliseum site to the A’s could have repercussions.  Read more here and here.

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Former Developer of Yard Goats Yard Seek New Trial

The former developers of Hartford’s minor league ballpark, who recently lost a legal case against the city over construction delays, are asking for a new trial or for a judge to overrule the jury’s verdict.  Read more here.

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City Prevails in Hartford Ballpark Lawsuit

City officials in Hartford (CT) celebrated a major victory in court Tuesday, as a jury ruled in favor of the city in a high-stakes lawsuit launched by the fired developers of Dunkin’ Donuts Park who sought tens of millions in damages.  Read more here.

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Hartford Ballpark Trial Starts Wednesday

A bitter lawsuit between the City of Hartford (CT) and the fired former developer of Dunkin’ Donuts Park is coming to a head. The trial between the city and Centerplan Construction starts Wednesday.  Read more here and here.

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Could Chick-fil-A Controversy Lead to Jumpstart in San Antonio Ballpark Talks?

On May 4, San Antonio voters will elect a new mayor, and the election has become a proxy contest for a Chick-fil-A controversy. Incumbent Mayor Ron Nirenberg, who supports barring the company at the San Antonio airport, faces City Councilman Greg Brockhouse, who wants to reverse the City Council decision to do so.  Read about the controversy hereRead more here.  How does this relate to a potential new ballpark for the  San Antonio Missions (Triple-A, Pacific Coast League)?   Nirenberg has been less enthusiastic about city involvement in a new ballpark than Brockhouse.  Read more here.  If the Chick-fil-Aers  come out to vote, it could turn the ballpark tide for the Missions.

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Ripken Ballpark Saga Continues, City Files Countersuit

How to move forward with Ripken Stadium, home of the Aberdeen IronBirds (Single-A, New York-Penn League), is the biggest challenge the Aberdeen (MD) City Council faced in 2018,  according to Mayor Patrick McGrady.  He couldn’t say more, because of pending litigation.  That litigation includes a countersuit filed by the city to the breach of contract suit filed last year in Harford County Circuit Court by Tufton Professional Baseball.  Read more here.

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Rainiers Fined for ‘Epic’ Roof Stunt

This past June, the Tacoma Rainiers (Triple-A, Pacific Coast League) brought reindeer mascot Rhubarb and local icon “Epic Sax Gorilla” up onto the roof of Cheney Stadium, where the club plays, for a routine crowd-pleasing stunt.  Read more here.  Watch performance here.

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M.V. Sharks in Legal Battle Over Plans to Depart Futures League for NECBL

The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks (Summer Collegiate) Futures Collegiate Baseball League) are mired in a court dispute with the Futures Collegiate Baseball League over the club’s plans to switch to the New England Collegiate Baseball League next summer.  Read more here.

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Erie Passes Resolutions to Advance $12-Million Ballpark Grant

The city of Erie (PA) is making moves to put a $12 million state grant in motion that’s earmarked for major upgrades at UPMC Park, home of the Erie SeaWolves (Double-A, Eastern League).  Read more here.

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State Lawmakers Help Clear Path for A’s Ballpark at Howard Terminal Site

State lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on Friday to make it just a little bit easier for the Oakland A’s to build a new ballpark at the Howard Terminal site near the Port of Oakland.  Read more here

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Eminent Domain Option Authorized to Acquire Land for Boise State Ballpark

The Idaho State Board of Education on Thursday approved Boise State University’s request to continue its attempt to acquire property for its new baseball stadium — even if it means using eminent domain to do so.  Read more here.

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County Settles Lawsuit, D-Backs Can Now Seek New Ballpark Deal

This past week, the Maricopa County (AZ) Stadium Board of Directors voted 4-1 in favor of settling a lawsuit that will give the Arizona Diamondbacks a chance during the next five years to build a new ballpark somewhere else in the county and leave Chase Field by 2022.  In exchange, the D-backs have to manage and maintain the existing stadium as long as they remain there.  Read more here.

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D-Backs Strike Deal with County Over Chase Field Dispute

Maricopa County has struck a deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks over Chase Field that allows the team to immediately begin looking for another home if it drops a lawsuit arguing the county should pay $187 million in repairs.  Read more here.

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Wild, Frontier League Ponder Future Under ‘Save America’s Pastime Act’

With or without the “Save America’s Pastime Act” included in the recent spending bill passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, baseball’s independent professional leagues have, arguably, a reasonable claim that they are covered by an exception to federal minimum-wage and overtime laws, which applies to seasonal amusement or recreational businesses under 29 USC § 213(a)(3).  It appears the Frontier League will take a wait-and-see approach.  Read more here.

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Saints Seek Exemption from Minnesota’s Minimum Wage Law, Cite Salary Cap

The owners of the St. Paul Saints (Independent Professional, American Association) are seeking an exemption from having to pay its players Minnesota’s minimum wage.  The Saints say without the exemption, the baseball team runs into a problem with a league rule limiting club payrolls.  Read more here.

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Marlins Park Legal Drama Begins Today

A Thursday morning hearing will serve as the opening act of a legal drama between Jeffrey Loria, former owner of the Miami Marlins, Derek Jeter, a current owner, and Miami-Dade County, longtime owner of the team’s ballpark.  Read more here.   Meanwhile, the drama over the home-run sculpture continues.  Read more here.

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Former Developers File Notice of Intent to Sue

Centerplan Construction Co. and DoNo Hartford, the fired developers of Dunkin’ Donuts Park and Hartford’s larger downtown north project, have filed a notice of intent to sue over the properties surrounding the ballpark.  Read more here.

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Centerplan Construction Alleges Tortious Interference by Yard Goats

An attorney for Centerplan Construction Co. has claimed in court that representatives of the Hartford Yard Goats (Double-A, Eastern League) pressured the city of Hartford (CT) into ordering millions of dollars in improvements to Dunkin’ Donuts Park that it couldn’t afford and the team had no intention of paying for.  Read more here.

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Ramapo Attorney Disbarred for Role in Ballpark Fraud

Former Ramapo Assistant Attorney Aaron Troodler has been disbarred based on his fraud convictions with former Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence, who could face up to 14 years in prison on the recommendation of federal prosecutors.  Read more here.

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Hartford Drops Centerplan and DoNo as Ballpark Area Developers

The city of Hartford (CT) says it has filed a counterclaim against the one-time developers of the city’s minor league baseball stadium and ended an agreement with them to develop the surrounding area.  Read more here.

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Luzerne County Approves Settlement, Lackawanna County Expected to Follow Suit

Seven years after Luzerne County filed a lawsuit against neighboring Lackawanna County and the Multi-Purpose Stadium Authority of Lackawanna County regarding the sale of the region’s Triple-A baseball franchise, Luzerne County Council approved a $4 million settlement offer.  Read more here.

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Hartford Racks Up Legal Bills, On-Hold ‘DoNo’ Development Driving Up Costs

Since 2016, the city of Hartford (CT) has paid attorneys more than $370,000 to handle lawsuits associated with the construction of Dunkin Donuts Park, home of the Hartford Yard Goats (Double-A, Eastern League).  Meanwhile the “DoNo” development that was expected to help pay down the bond interest remains on hold until the legal issues are resolved.  Read more and watch news report here.

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The Laredo Lemurs Saga Unfolds

The Laredo (TX) City Council voted this week to send a letter to all parties involved with the Laredo Lemurs (Independent Professional, American Association) to vacate the premises of  Uni-Trade Stadium and pursue proposals for buyers or leasers for the stadium.  Read more here.

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Bennett Sues Shuckers

Tim Bennett is suing the owner of the Biloxi Shuckers, Biloxi Baseball LLC, and managing member Ken Young over access to the stadium and money Bennett says he is owed.  Young called the allegations in the lawsuit “baseless.”  Read more and watch news report here.  Read back story here.

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Former Developers of Hartford Ballpark Seeking $90 Million

Hartford Yard Goats LogoCenterplan Construction Co. and DoNo Hartford, the former developers of Dunkin’ Donuts Park, have amended a lawsuit against the city of Hartford (CT) and are now seeking more than $90 million.  Read more here.

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FBI Investigating Hartford Ballpark Project

Hartford Yard Goats LogoThe FBI is launching an investigation into the Dunkin Donuts Park project, and it appears the city of Hartford’s information-sharing spurred the action.  Read more here.

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Bank Sues Former Developer of Yard Goats Ballpark

Hartford Yard Goats LogoWaterbury (CT)-based Webster Bank is suing Centerplan Construction Co., the former builder of Dunkin’ Donuts Park, for allegedly partially defaulting on three separate loans totaling more than $10.2 million.  Read more here.

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City, Blasters Will Try Mediation to Resolve Dispute

Joplin Blasters LogoCity officials and the owners of the former Joplin Blasters (American Association, Independent Professional) have agreed to try to resolve the lawsuit between them over the lost lease revenue for Joe Becker Stadium through mediation.  Read more here.

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Cavemen Co-Owner Hopes to Get Team Back in the Game

Hannibal CavemenRick DeStefane, co-owner of the Hannibal Cavemen (Summer Collegiate, Prospect League), hopes a meeting on Tuesday can be the first step toward bringing summer collegiate baseball back to the city in 2018.   The city of Hannibal filed a lawsuit last Monday alleging that Clemons Field Management LLC is in breach of its lease agreement.  Read more here.

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Luzerne, Lackawanna Litigation Saga Continues

scranton-wilkes-barre-red-baronsScranton Wilkes-Barre YankeesSolicitors from Luzerne and Lackawanna counties say they’re interested in discussing a settlement of their dueling litigation over the region’s Triple-A baseball franchise.  Read more here.

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