View Full Version : Minor League Baseball in Detroit

Mudhen Fan
01-12-2005, 02:06 PM
Well, Troy has turned down a stadium proposal to house a minor league basebal team. Let's see, that's Troy, Mt.Clemens, Oakland University, South Lyons - all projects with potential that got nowhere.

The group that made the Troy proposal says other sites are interested and that they're not giving up. Anybody have any info on where these other sites are located or if any other projects are being discussed for the metro area.

By the way, we used to have some good exchanges one the old OSC message boards. If any of you who use to participate are still out there, please jump in.

01-12-2005, 03:47 PM
I am hearing rumbles of Auburn Hills. Fast growing community, this would be a good addition and the 75 Corridor would be good for traffic flow.

01-13-2005, 05:29 PM
Thanks for the info, Global. On a purely selfish note, the proposals keep getting farther and farther from my home. I would have been a season ticket holder for sure to a Mt. Clemens team, and probably to a Troy based one as well. Auburn Hills, probably not. I'd catch as many games as possible, but to commit to a full season with games on weeknites with a 45+ minute one way trip may be a bit much for me. Still it's better than nothing. Don't get me wrong, I have always enjoyed the Mudhen and Lugnut games I have went to, but that is typically only once or twice a season. I have seen more minor league baseball games in the last few years while away on vacation than I have while at home. We need something closer.

By the way, we used to have some good exchanges one the old OSC message boards. If any of you who use to participate are still out there, please jump in.

It has died down a bit as of late. Recently, most of the action seems to be about the ABA and indoor (arena) football. Hockey used to dominate but now it can go several days without a post. I guess, without a moron stirring the pot, there's not as much to talk about.

South Atlantic
01-16-2005, 06:03 AM
What exactly is the problem in the area you speak about? Is it city officials who are against a stadium/team or constituents against it?

Being involved with minor league teams and leagues, I understand apprehension toward projects. But knowing the area you speak about, I would be absolutely shocked if a team failed. Plus being able to build a $4-$7 million dollar stadium with opportunities to use the field for profitable, seasonal events outside of baseball seems too good to turn down.

With that being said, I would love to find out the officials apprehensions toward this project are.

01-16-2005, 09:35 AM
South Atlantic, you have raised a couple good questions, and I can only respond to what I have heard or read, or have learned through actually talking to some of the folks involved. 1) The city of Troy (Michigan) for some reason felt that if the team folded, they would be stuck with a stadium and the money involved to maintain it. This is a dumb way of thinking. The team ownership (even if the team failed) was giving the stadium to the city, the developer was building the stadium, paying for the up keep, was going to allow the city to use it for city softball games, highschool baseball games, concerts, and other events free of charge 2) There was a concern about parking.True, there is no parking in the area as far as public parking goes. However, have you ever been to an area where homeowners make as much as $7.00 a vehicle to allow people to park on their property. There is a church right across the street of the site that could park as many as 125 cars at $7.00 each for a total of $875.00 a night. How would that kind of money help a church program for teens or whatever.? There is also a hotel parking garage within 1 block of the stadium, as well as a Troy owned Citizens center on the grounds, so plenty of parking within a block and even more if you expanded it to two blocks, and the team was going to provide free shuttle service from a main K-Mart lot which is only half used, it is empty on the weekends and after 5 during the week, and this lot holds as many as 3000 cars. With K-Mart in the money problems it has, how much income would this bring them for 1000 cars a game at $5.00 a car? 3) The usual complaint of traffic and noise in the neighborhood Well again, a lame one. The stadium is setting at the base of I-75 which is a 6 lane expressway, easy on and easy off. Yes there would be traffic in the neighborhood for 2 hours maybe before and after, but Livernois is a 4 lane paved road, traffic is on this road all day, and into the early morning hours anyway. This is not like this is some bumpy dirt filled road, with a car an hour on it. 4) They had a concern about fans drinking? Like they do at the sports bar, 1/2 mile away and travel on the exact same road? Their point is? 5 They had a concern about security at the ball park and the community. Well, the Troy Police department is on the same parcel of land that the ball park would have been on, how much more protection do you need? Plus the stadium would have its own security detail, so again another false claim. The company that owned the team and stadium are not rookies at this , they are a major player in minor league ventures and their Fort Wayne Wizards are doing great in a space less that this one was going to be. The city of Troy is a very dominant govt. they want and need control over everything that happens in it, in the business world we may call it Micro-management. This would have been a great deal for the city and its residents who have really no place to go except to the city owned (and the fees they pay) centers, arenas, and pools. I truly think the city saw membership fees dropping and that worried them knowing it would be going to a private company. They threw away a brand new ball park, a place they could use for 8 months out of the year for free, to save a few dollars it would lose by folks going to a ball game. Lets save $1000 to lose $10,000 later. But this is the way our hung up on their own self importance Govt. works

01-16-2005, 04:08 PM
So, the actual proposal that was made to the city was near the city buildings (the library, police station, etc), and not on the K-Mart HQ property? All I had heard as far as location was K-Mart's. Where you are describing would have been a better location. I assume it would have been visible from 75. As someone who used to work at the north end of Troy and sat in I-75 rush hour traffic on a daily basis, I know there are several thousand people who would have seen it on a daily basis. Even if only a fraction of those people went to an occasional game, there would be no issue with the team going under. It's the same crap with the Mt. Clemens proposal. "The team will not draw enough, go under and we will be left with an empty stadium", followed by "there will be noise and traffic problems with the crowds." So, which is it. It can't be both, but Troy and Mt. Clemens both used both excuses.

01-17-2005, 05:58 AM
The proposed ball park was on city owned property in the city complex area (PD, Library, Senior Citizens, Pool) right off Livernois and Big Beaver. The K-Mart land is not going to be vacant for another year, and when it does become vacant, expect to see the owners of Somerset use it for a hotel, shopping center and condos. The noise and traffic excuse is one that is always used. The new team in Traverse City (Beach Bums I believe they are going to be called) went through this with that mayor and council. However another town 5 miles away extended an invite to place the stadium there and they are as happy as they can be with it. (Team starts this season as a Northern League team I believe), This has started new business in that area (Gas Stations, 7-11, sports store), and that area is tickled as they can be to be associated with a baseball team, the press and players that will be living in that area.

South Atlantic
01-17-2005, 06:50 AM
The Beach Bums will begin play in 2006 in the Frontier League (that was the last I heard when I spoke with Bill Lee, commish of Frontier). That area is growing so well the stadium will fit in perfectly.

People have to realize that there is more than putting up a stadium. The development side is where you see the economic boost. What I mean, is when you build a stadium, several times the excess acreage will be used for the hotels, restaurants, gas stations, etc. and usually are owned by the same developers of the stadium. The excess businesses are how you pay the stadium off quicker. That is also where the jobs come from, the buildup around.

Mudhen Fan
01-17-2005, 09:48 AM
I'm originally from Toledo, and I can tell you that the new ballpark there is a source of great pride and enjoyment. I've also traveled to many, many minor league ballparks with my family and I have yet to run into someone who truly regrets their ballpark.

Troy missed the ball when they let this proposal slip through their hands. It's unfortunate that the nay sayers are usually the most vocal. I'm certain most of the citizens of Troy would have loved having their own team.

I live on the west side and I sure hope that some other community (maybe along the I-275 corridor) takes advantage of this opportunity.

02-10-2005, 05:25 PM
Hey guys, any ideas on why they wouldn't consider a place like Clinton Township/Macomb? You could build around M-59 and you'd have access from both I-75 and I-94. My ambitions for that may be somewhat selfish as I'd love to have a minor league team close to me, but it would do great to bring life to a heavily populated area that features nothing but shopping malls and subdivisions. The fact I'm going into a career in sports business management guides my bias too, but I feel like a place like Clinton Township would be a good base due to its accessibility and population base (very close to 100,000 people)... not to mention the fact that CT is as developed (and in some cases is much more developed) as the other locations you all named that were rejected. Please keep me posted on any new findings as I don't hear anything about my native Metro Detroit here in Mt. Pleasant.

02-10-2005, 08:13 PM
Hi Prez. If there are any more developements that I hear of, I'll put them on the board. Troy and Mt. Clemens are pretty close to 100% developed. While they are shrinking fast, there are still areas of Macomb Township that are not developed, other than as farmland. There was a location in Roseville that I thought would have worked great, not that I ever heard it was ever considered. It was adjacent to I-94 and had an abandoned strip shopping center and an empty Builders Square/HQ. Today there's a Sam's Club and JC Penney there. Mt Clemens would have served the Clinton Township / Macomb Township baseball fans very well. The previous mayor of Mt. Clemens, a relative of a friend, was one on the biggest backers of the stadium there. The voters put him out of office primarily for that reason. These are the same people, mind you, whos eyes light up at the thought of a casino in Mt. Clemens, but vote down baseball. It's all very frustrating. Too bad I'm not a millionaire. :(

02-11-2005, 01:33 PM
Hi Pat,
Thanks for lookin out for me, I appreciate it greatly. I know what you mean about those hypocrites in Mt. Clemens. I grew up in the north end of Clinton Township but always kept up on the neighboring city. It's unfortunate they didn't bring a team there a few years ago because, as an Econ and Marketing minor, I can say that it would have done great for a city that is decaying rapidly in many aspects of quality of life. It's just too bad for a city that once had regional, and somewhat national, recognition. Like you say, Macomb Township has a ways to go, I just figured the border would be perfect because the border between Clinton and Macomb townships is M-59 and is, as I mentioned in the last post, accessible by I-75 and I-94. I think if they have a team not located IN a city with a notable name they need to make getting to the stadium simple enough for people to get there. And Clinton Township surely is not notable! I got to college and no one knew where it was even though we have 100,000 people and we're a suburb of Detroit, yet everyone knew the name Mt. Clemens (pop. approx. 20,000?). Just makes me laugh!