The upstart Freedom Pro Baseball League, considered by some to be the lowest level of pro baseball in North America, has been mentioned on Examiner.com to have financial concerns about missed payments for its stadium leases. A game was postponed due to the missed stadium payment.
Hopefully the league can turn everything around and update statistics, standings, player information and other necessary aspects to ensure that a league declaring itself to be “Pro” is truly professional. Financial woes for stadium payments, risk of payroll deadlines being missed, and other financial concerns have plagued independent baseball leagues since its inception in 1993. That is one of the reason why the surge in the business of summer collegiate leagues was prevalent in recent years.
The true question is how to improve profitability for the enterprise(s). Most operators and front office staff, who are in situations where financial concerns are rampant, have a myopic view that the only way to improve the situation is to cut costs and increase attendance. Of course, it is difficult to draw fans into your stadium (at any price) if certain minimums are not met. This website came into existence after experiences in such situations.
It is possible, however, to structure any independent baseball team (or any other pro team) to increase its profitability without having to gain one additional fan in the stands. If done properly, and with owners and team executives actually looking at their entities as being MORE than just “local, affordable family-friendly entertainment”, they might start to see some profits by being intelligent enough to get inside the minds of their fans and give them what they truly want — and it’s not just quality baseball, safety for kids to run around, cold beer, and some tired old promotions. Fans have their own needs and wants which are far removed from any sport. They need jobs (especially when an owner talks about a “bad economy”), removal from other financial fears (e.g. saving money), improved health, the opportunity to laugh authentically, the desire to be captivated, the chance to be a part of something special, discover more about their favorite sport (either the playing aspect or the history), and a reason to have an emotional investment in their entertainment options like they do with the favorite college foootball teams or favorite movies.
Very few owners and executives ever have these type of in-depth conversations at the outset, and they structure their teams and hire staff which are suited for the more old-school philosophy of being just about local family-friendly entertainment. The marketplace in most of the smaller markets demands more than that today, especially when people can meet their entertainment wants at home or on their smart phones during summer nights between 6:30 and 10:00 pm for much cheaper than paying for tickets/food/parking/beer/t-shirts.
Future blog posts will address ways in which the independent baseball leagues (or any other minor league sport league offices), teams, owners, staff and even the players and fans can all participate in ways that improve profitability and each give the other parties unique ways to benefit. They are low-cost or, in some cases, no cost; and they each meet at least one underlying emotional need or want in the audience.
IndependentBaseball.net is always for the quality opportunities for players to become better professional athletes, front office staff who are allowed to innovate the sport and make it better, and for teams to improve their profitability in ethical, unique ways. The internet is going to be the answer, even if the internet is integrated into the physical environment at games and during community appearances around town. Again, we hope that the Freedom Pro league and any other teams which are struggling financially pay attention and contact us for these low-cost or no-cost ways (of which there over 30) which may help them to begin to turn it around.
There are several good books about the independent professional baseball leagues. You are welcome to see a list of suggestions through this link: Books Get notified of upcoming independent baseball tryouts from either of these services: first service or the second service. Prospective players can find some helpful resources here We will be providing a growing list of possibly helpful tips and suggestions on various baseball information. This will range from "how to" information about baseball skills all the way to helpful information for casual baseball fans. Please click the link for more information: Tips And How To Information