Thorough article about the (potential) affiliation shuffle...
Thorough article about the (potential) affiliation shuffle...
Bad news in my view anyway. If there was any club that I'd want to move it would be New Britain. Rochester and Beloit are fine as is and I hope they are renewed.
Unless you're in close proximity why would anyone care?
The two cities from the article that caught my eye were Nashville and Memphis. Both would be a nice drive in the spring when nice summer baseball weather is a sure thing down there and we could still be shoveling snow. When I checked the distances though, it really isn't that much closer than Rochester. Nashville is 882 and Memphis is 830 miles. Althogh closer than Rochesters 1010 miles, it really isn't that much closer. Would many of us would really make the trip to either of these ciites, if we already view Rochester too far away? If you are going to fly, it really doesn't matter. If you are going to make a road trip of it and are looking for some warm weather in the spring or fall, then it may be enough of a change.
Northwoods is a much shorter season, where all of the games are in the middle of summer. MWL has an extra two months of games, most of them are in lousy weather. Having weeknight games in April when the temperatures are in the 40, is a pretty serious drag on attendance for nearly all the MWL teams.
Its also pretty much a myth that you can rely on college students to boost attendance. Madison is the perfect example. The summertime Mallards are a huge success, drawing 5000 a night, but Madison's had a lousy record with full season minor league ball (played when school is in session). Madison got a MWL team the same year that the Snappers were created, but the concept didn't work. Madison lost 2 MWL teams, and an Independent league team (which is now in Lincoln, which is probably why they don't have a Minor League team there btw), before the Mallards were created.
My dream is for the Twins to sign up a PCL team. The longer they wait to re-sign Rochester, the more my hopes grow.
I live in Sacramento, CA, where the AAA River Cats play, and if the Twins get a PCL team I'll be able to see them at least twice per year.
I don't think anyone has brought up St. Cloud yet. I don't know if this would even be plausible-- just throwing it out there...
It's a good baseball community/surrounding area-- some very good high school baseball teams come out of that neck of the woods. St. Cloud has the MAC and supports the River Bats and the Granite City Greys. Would it end up splitting attendance, being less than 60 miles from the Twin Cities? Would the MAC be able to handle the load? Not sure.
It is not like throw a dart in a place and a team can chose an affiliate there and move their operations....
There are established leagues. The leagues have contracts with certain teams. And they can have so many teams (like the majors). So unless they expand (yeah good luck) or an existing team decides to move to another location, the present locations are where it is.
Of course, the Twins could buy the Las Vegas franchise, build a stadium in Rochester, MN or where ever and decide to move them there, but that is what it will take. And someone should be willing to sell. Matter of fact, this is what happened the first time the Twins' franchise got a minor league affiliate (minus the move) but that was about 80 years ago
Same with every level of play.
And Thrylos is right, any ideas about an affiliate in a city that doesn't already have a MiLB team in an affiliated league isn't likely to happen short of the Twins buying a team and moving it where they want it. Not impossible in the future, but not likely any time soon.
It sounds like only way to get a minor league club closer to Minnesota would be to purchase and start up a AAA team in the PCL, but there are no markets nearby large enough to sustain a AAA franchise.
The two teams with the closest minor league affiliates (outside of the east coast) that I can recall off hand are the Giants and the Mariners. San Francisco has a High A team in San Jose (50 miles away, but really next door) and Seattle has had a AAA team in Tacoma (30 miles away).
St. Paul is much closer to Minneapolis than these two examples, although I think all 3 have the minor league team in the same TV/attendance market. I think the MSP market is probably bigger than (or at least comparable to) Seattle so it would not be completely unprecedented. But, the Twins may not like the competition from having a team 10 miles away so that's probably the deal breaker. Also I assume Midway isn't close to an acceptable facility for a AAA team. There might be a fairly significant start up cost for an area that just paid for an MLB stadium, NNCAA football stadium, and NFL stadium.
Thanks for all of the clarifications starting with the article that JeremyNygaard cited plus the follow-ups from Thrylos and JC.
If the Twins end up with a team in the PCL, another possible city mentioned was Oklahoma City. I know nothing about the ballpark or ownership but the article indicates that it is one of the best in the PCL. It also says that the ownership group likes to make a "splash" so that may leave out the Twins but the distance (788 miles straight down I-35) plus the possibility of combining it in a road trip with a stop in Kansas City or even on to Arlington, makes it interesting.
great article.....do not want back in the PCL. Numbers are so distorted that you have no idea what a player is....remember Michael Ryans 30 HRs in Edmonton??? Tho Id be interested in a Las Vegas trip to see the boys....wife would stay by the pool....sounds like they are last choice of everyone.
You'd think that with Arcia/Hicks/Hermann/Hermsen/Gibson etc all heading to AAA next yr.....ROC would be excited with that & knowing that Buxton/Sano/Rosario/Berrios/Walker/Keplar are all a yr or 2 behind them would entice them.
Vegas really screwed up here. They messed around trying to lure an NBA team with a plans to build a shiny new 20,000 seat arena when they should have taken care of their only existing professional franchise.
Why does the PCL keep a team in Vegas if the facilities are so bad......are any casinos allowed to pay/help out the club???
Those that have been there......what would you do for them to improve it???
I bet the used car salesman wants baseball associated with Casinos and gambling about as much as he wants a heavy dose of Syphilis
Improve that ballpark? Nuke it and build an indoor facility, which is way too expensive for AAA (or buy the franchise and move it some place temperate). Baseball just is not meant to be played in the low desert in the spring and summer months.
Casinos pay for everything else so sure, they could help out. As far as I know Steve Wynn could buy them tomorrow if he wanted to. I think the smartest thing for them to do is have their leadership stop dreaming about an NBA team and try and get private money into a nice AAA facility. They don't need any taxpayer money, the economy is lousy (based entirely on the housing market outside of the casinos) anyway so that wouldn't fly. If the folks there want to eventually get a major league sports franchise they should invest in the AAA team, put a new stadium next to the strip (you know, where the people are with the money to spend) then show that will work. It will, because they draw fairly well at Cashman which is in an area so bad taxis won't go there.
Rule 54 requires notice to the Commissioner, MiLB President and League president whenever a team considers entering a "regulated transaction" (transfer of equity interest, loans, stadium leases, broadcast rights, concession rights beyond 1 year, naming rights, or any other contract of 5+ yrs). The same rule severely restricts ownership of MiLB teams by anyone with much of a tie to legalized gambling at all. That wouldn't necessarily preclude a casino owner from funding a stadium out of the goodness of his/her heart, but they probably couldn't even get naming rights to the ballpark. Not sure why a casino owner would want to put money in to a business that would potentially provide alternative entertainment options to locals and tourists, anyway. They want people in the casinos, not at the ballpark.
On the Class A front, Cedar Rapids' BOD has decided to enter the "pool" rather than sign an extension with the Angels at this time and will be notifying the Angels of that Sunday or Monday. They want to explore options with a midwest MLB team. The Cubs and Twins would be at the top of their list, but if the Cubs and Peoria divorce, the belief is that Ft Wayne would be the Cubs' preferred destination. There's a lot of support for partnering with Minnesota, though obviously no decisions would be made until the last half of September when teams looking for new affiliates would make presentations.