A longtime discussion has been an investor attempting to bring an Atlantic League team to Malden, MA. The project is becoming more of a reality to develop a brand new 6000+ seat stadium, commercial real estate and other real estate combined project valued at roughly $50 million. Delays in the negotiations have pushed back the likely date of any new pro independent baseball team (most likely the Atlantic League) to the 2015 season.
Here is more information on the project:
If you enjoy the side of the independent/minor league sports business where the real money is discussed then these stories, although not as intriguing as player tales or championship victory stories, are interesting in their own right. Sometimes a team gets “behind the eight ball” even before it takes the field due to the economics of the ownership group. Some situations which have millions of dollars tied to a stadium (and the associated real estate) which affected the player action on the field in recent memory include:
- Fort Worth — switching leagues due to the bankruptcy issue
- American Defenders of New Hampshire — having the gates locked on the team and becoming a travel team
- Lake County Fielders — last season’s terrible situation (for all parties, primarily the players)
- San Rafael — almost not having the NAL North Division season due to opposition from locals over the summertime evening use of the stadium
- several others in recent years
These types of stories are posted because a few longtime readers of this website have asked why these stories are included, especially if they deal with teams which have not yet even been formed or approved. The fans of this website are commended for asking!
Since the fan wants top-quality action on the field, with minimal bad business happening behind the scenes, these stories make an impact. When things don’t go well little stories, which in the big picture mean nothing, affect the overall image of independent baseball. The radio announcer in Lake County quitting on the air last year was such an example. Miscommunication and other issues forced a bad situation to spiral out of control, but the actions of one announcer impacted the overall image of “independent baseball” (even those not in the same league) to the baseball fans who think independent baseball is a “bunch of has-beens that never were” or “retreads.”
Regarding the last sentence, this website does not believe that such notions of independent pro baseball are true.
If you have ever spent any time in the independent leagues, even the lower levels, then you know that the talent is there. Just look at the Pecos and Continental Leagues, each of which has sent over 100 players to higher-level independent leagues and affiliated contracts AFTER spending time in what outsiders would consider the “lowest” levels of pro baseball. Great front office people have come out of these leagues as well. This website and others serving prospective players who want to play in the independent leagues came out of the lower-level independent leagues. Sugar Land made national news with the Clemens signing and became, arguably, the most-discussed minor league team (affiliated OR independent) of the 2012 regular season. The Saint Paul Saints often have some of the funniest promotions which get mentioned on national news outlets year in and year out. Independent baseball NEEDS to be different than its MiLB counterparts, but those differences need to be positive.
Stadium and real estate deals tied to independent leagues sometimes can make or break the reputation of independent baseball, so IndependentBaseball.net wants you (the fan or industry insider) to be aware of situations so that you can do your part help promote independent baseball nationally. You simply may go to games and Tweet or Facebook post your enjoyment of a game, or you may be an industry insider who wants to increase profits in order to continue bringing “family entertainment” to your local area. You may be a prospective player, the parent of a prospective player, or a coach of prospective players. You even may be a prospective investor/owner in an independent baseball team.
Any situation which deals with millions of dollars and is tied to independent baseball is worth noting. The successes and failures of individual teams, or entire leagues, often have their origins in the inception of these stadium deals. Hopefully if the Atlantic League (or any other league) which accepts a 2015 Malden team does its due diligence and verifies that the inclusion of such a team only raises the bar for independent baseball.
Thank you for understanding why stories like these are included occasionally.
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