Category Archives: Market & Location

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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Boise Ballpark Developer Abandons Effort to Acquire West End Property, What’s Next?

Faced with bad news from Boise (ID) voters, the developer of the proposed $50 million Boise baseball and soccer stadium has changed his mind and decided not to buy the West End property he sought.  That ends any chance that a stadium will be built there. Read more here.

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New Martinez Mackerel Pushed to Change Name, San Rafael Pacifics Depart

The Martinez Mackerel will begin play in 2020 and be operated by the Pecos League (Independent Professional).  However, the city council apparently didn’t like the name because of a definition of “Mackerel” in the Urban Dictionary.  So, the Pecos League is in the process of choosing a new one.  Read more here.  The previous Martinez Clippers played in the Pacific Association (Independent Professional), which has shown some instability, including the departure of the San Rafael Pacifics, arguably the league’s most successful franchise.  Read more here.

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Brunswick (GA) in Discussions with Coastal Plain League

Baseball has always been America’s pastime.  Despite the popularity of other sports, the timeless appeal of baseball still draws millions to ballparks each year.  The question now is how many would come if the coastal town of Brunswick (GA) built a stadium to bring a Coastal Plain League (Summer Collegiate) franchise to town?  Read more here.  Read more details 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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Expedition League Expands to Sioux Falls

The Expedition League (Summer Collegiate) has announced that it is expanding to Sioux Falls (SD). The yet-to-be-named team will play at Augustana’s Karras Park, as did the Sioux Falls Pilots and Gold, summer college league teams that folded after one season. Baseball front-office veteran Bill Larsen will serve as the club’s general manager.  Read more and watch video here.

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Portland Pickles Add Farm Teams

The owners of the Portland Pickles (Summer Collegiate, West Coast League) announced Tuesday they are starting a new farm team called the Portland Gherkins.  Read more here.  View website 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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Plans for Shakopee Ballpark Formally Announced, American Association Targeted

Plans were formally announced this week for an 8,500-seat baseball stadium in Shakopee (MN) that a newly formed minor league team will call home.  A goal for the team is to be a part of the American Association (Independent Professional) and revive the old-time rivalry between the Minneapolis Millers and the St. Paul Saints.  Read more here.  Read previous news 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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Oconomowoc (WI) Next Batter Up for Ballpark Development

Diamond Club Entertainment LLC, which previously proposed a baseball complex in the city of Pewaukee (WI) and the village of Summit (WI), now has its sights set on a new location in the city of Oconomowoc (WI).  The development, which calls for a 2,500-seat ballpark and a 60,000-square-foot training center attached to the field, would be on nearly 22 acres in Pabst Farms, south of Interstate 94 and directly west of Wisconsin Harley-Davidson, which is at 1280 Blue Ribbon Drive.  The project is scheduled to go before he planning commission on Dec. 11.  Read more here.

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Mesquite Being Targeted by Atlantic League

The Atlantic League (Independent Professional) is reportedly in discussions with Mesquite (TX) about bringing a franchise to North Texas.  The circuit is in need of a travel partner for the successful Sugar Land Skeeters, which have been the lone franchise in the Lone Star State since the team first took the field in 2012 and is over 1,000 miles away from their nearest opponent in High Point (NC).   Read more  and watch news report here.

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More Ballpark Chatter in San Antonio

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, who is the namesake of the San Antonio Missions’ (Triple-A, Pacific Coast League) current stadium, told a local news station that San Antonio (TX) will need a new stadium if it wants to keep Triple-A baseball in town.  Read more here.

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An 8,000-Seat Stadium in Shakopee (MN) Proposed for Return of Millers

There was another step forward in plans to bring a minor league baseball team and stadium to the Twin Cities south of the river.  Organizers invited residents of Shakopee (MN) to a community event Thursday night at Canterbury Park, where plans and photos were unveiled.  The league for the “Metro Millers” has not yet been identified.  Read more and watch news report here.  Read more here and hereView website here.

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A’s Offer to Buy Out City’s Stake in Coliseum Site

In an effort to break the legal logjam that’s threatening their new ballpark, the Oakland A’s are offering to either buy out the city’s half share in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum site for $85 million or enter into a long-term lease, sources close to the negotiations say.  Read more here.

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Petition to Save the Appalachian League

It didn’t take long after Major League Baseball announced a proposal to eliminate 42 teams from the Minor League Baseball (MiLB) line-up for someone to step up to the plate and launch a petition drive to save certain franchises. Click here for a petition to save the Appalachian League.  What?  Didn’t MiLB just announce Pulaski as the winner of the President’s Award?  ‘Thanks for the memories, Pulaski!”

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Beyond Angels, a “Flurry of Interest” in Long Beach Waterfront Site

Should Los Angeles Angels owner Art Moreno decide to keep his Major League Baseball team in Anaheim, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia is not too concerned, as he thinks he might be able to induce another sports owner to take a look at the 13-acre waterfront site being offered up to the Angels.  Read more here.  Read the latest about the Angels 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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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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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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St. Croix River Hounds on Track for 2021 Inaugural Season in NWL

PRESS RELEASE – The Northwoods League and the St. Croix River Hounds are excited to announce that the St. Croix Meadows development in Hudson, Wisconsin is under construction and the infrastructure is near completion. Continue reading

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Latest on Plan to Bring MLB Back to Montreal

Stephen Bronfman, the Baseball Montreal group, and the developer Devimco are in talks to buy a 40-acre plot of land near the Bonaventure Highway and convert it into a $2.5-billion complex of condos, commercial properties and an outdoor stadium.  Read more here.

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Can PDP Succeed in Bringing MLB to Portland?

While it may be difficult to envision it, Terminal 2 could, in a little more than three years, be completely transformed.  The Portland Diamond Project (PDP) has chosen this riverfront expanse for a 32,000-seat stadium that would be home to Portland’s first Major League Baseball team.  Read more here.

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Snappers Being Sold, New Downtown Ballpark Proposed

Quint Studer and Diane Hendricks have announced that they are buying the Beloit Snappers (Single-A, Midwest League) and proposing a new stadium near the Rock River behind Beloit City Hall.  Studer Entertainment & Retail currently co-owns the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Double-A, Southern League).  Read more here and here.  Watch news report here.

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New Western Association Announces Henderson Hoo

PRESS RELEASE – The Western Association of Professional Baseball Clubs (“WAPB”) is proud to announce that it has accepted an application for membership to place a charter franchise in Henderson, Nevada.
The franchise will be known as the Henderson Hoo, which will begin play in 2020 as part of the planned inaugural season.

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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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Two Possible Downtown Sites for New Royals Ballpark, Bi-State Tax a Funding Option?

The ground beneath Kansas City’s endless stadium conversation is shifting.  Anyone who loves the idea of taxpayer subsidies for baseball and football — or anyone who hates them — should start paying close attention to the temblors.  Read more and watch video here.

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Oakland A’s Ballpark Bill Approved by Legislature

Legislation that would make it easier for Oakland (CA) to finance the infrastructure needed for a proposed Oakland A’s ballpark at the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal cleared its final hurdle at the state Capitol.  Supporters are asking Governor Newsom to sign the bill into law.  Read more here.

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The Sanford Mile Could Bring New Home for Canaries

It’s no secret that the home of the Sioux Falls Canaries (Independent Professional, American Association) could be torn down, as this was recently recommended by a citizen task force.  Adding to the intrigue, Sanford Health just released plans that suggest that the team’s new field could be built just a few miles up the road as part of the “the Sanford Mile” — their version of the Magnificent Mile in Chicago.  Read more here and here.

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Proposed MLB Team in Nashville Gets a Name

Paying homage to the Negro Leagues, the local group trying to bring Major League Baseball to Nashville (TN), Music City Baseball LLC made up of businessman John Loar, former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and former MLB pitcher and front office executive Dave Stewart, have announced the name for the group’s proposed MLB team — the Nashville Stars.  Read more here.

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On the Heels of Controversy, Fans Overwhelmingly Pick ‘River Pigs’

A decision that has taken this village through the ringer is closed.  After a vote by the public on Saturday, Empire League (Independent Professional) President Eddie Gonzalez confirmed what almost 73% of the voters wanted — for River Pigs to be the new name of the Tupper Lake (NY) baseball team.  Read more here.  Read about controversy here.  Thanks to John Cerone for the heads up.

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PawSox Attendance Drops

Attendance at Pawtucket Red Sox (Triple-A, International League) games has dropped as the team prepares to depart Rhode Island for Massachusetts.  The PawSox are averaging just 5,254 fans a game (as of Sept. 3), which is a drop from 5,982 in 2018.  It’s the third-lowest attendance in the International League.  Read more here.  The team was at 6,406 in 2017.  Doing business as the Fightin’ Quahogs last Friday probably didn’t hurt.

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Will New Owner Bring Royals Downtown?

Talk to people who know John Sherman, the coming new owner of the Kansas City Royals, and three points come up over and over again: He’s a meticulous businessman, he is deeply devoted to Kansas City and, even given his stature in the community, he’s private about his endeavors.  Another thing to know about Sherman: He cares about downtown Kansas City.  Read more here.

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Speculating About MLB in Vegas

It was reported earlier this summer that officials in Henderson (NV) were quietly trying to lure the Arizona Diamondbacks from Phoenix (AZ), where efforts to build a new major league ballpark have stalled. And that was before Las Vegas Ballpark was christened and the Las Vegas Aviators (Triple-A, Pacific Coast League) began obliterating attendance records.  Read more here.

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The Future of Baseball in New Orleans

Fans and those with an interest in New Orleans Baby Cakes (Triple-A, Pacific Coast League) are saddened by the realization that the team is leaving the city for greener pastures in Wichita (KS).  And, there’s even more concern about what it means for the future of professional baseball in the metropolitan area.  Read more here.

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Expedition League Targeting Laramie

Laramie’s (WY) demographics, Cowboy Field on the campus of the University of Wyoming, and a 14-year run for the former Laramie Colts (Summer Collegiate, Rocky Mountain Baseball League/Mountain Collegiate Baseball League) could make the city next up in the expansion of the Expedition League (Summer Collegiate).  Read more here.  Read about Colts here.

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Boise State Hires Ballpark Contractor, Targets March 2021 Opening

Boise State University in Boise (ID) has selected the Gardner Company as the contractor for its on-campus baseball stadium. The school is “shooting” for the stadium to open in March 2021, the second season for the revived Boise State baseball program.  Read more and watch video 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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