Among those in the independent baseball industry, many questions have been raised about the Atlantic League’s decision to place a team in Sugar Land, Texas. This is because the Atlantic League’s teams range from Bridgeport to Southern Maryland, and in 2012 will introduce a team in Loudoun County, Virginia.
During most independent baseball league meetings, one of the top 3 priority discussions every year is how to reduce the costs of travel. This is because travel is a hard cost which cannot be lowered should a team’s home attendance end up below expectations. Adding flight costs to a business model which has seen stressful challenges in recent seasons always makes outsiders, and some industry insiders as well (!), scratch their heads.
Here is an article which helps explain more about the Sugar Land Skeeters operation, including quotes from the team’s GM and the Atlantic League’s commissioner:
Hopefully the net benefit pays off. Sugar Land, by many accounts, is a solid market for pro baseball; and the stadium should be top-quality. If so, there are certain untapped markets in Texas and the Southwest which should be, if done properly, viable markets for professional baseball. These would include towns with good economic demographics, available land, large populations (over 75,000), and baseball fan bases for the amateur and college leagues. Hopefully 2012 (and 2013) proves to be a good market for independent baseball in the region.
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