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View Full Version : RIP: Newark Bears


zuma jay
10-27-2008, 04:17 PM
It's sad ... but Newark, NJ is about to lose minor league baseball once again.

The Bears will likely fold, according to the Star Ledger. Another newspaper report says the team has folded.

Props to all of the folks that helped keep this franchise alive since 1998. Mr. Rick Cerone, Jim Cerny, WSOU for putting games on the radio...

So many great memories:
Johnny #1 fan ... Ozzie Canseco...the few die hard Bears fans that showed up game after game...The Bears winning two Atl League titles...some dude named Sandman...I believe Trumphet Guy also was an avid supporter in the early years.

Some folks blame Newark, NJ and all of the crime...but, Camden, NJ is worse and the RiverSharks seem to be getting decent crowd suppport.

dmbishop
10-27-2008, 04:43 PM
That's too bad.

Personally, I didn't think that the area around the stadium was all that bad. Right by the metro line, a couple of blocks from the Performing Arts Center of NJ (and FBI headquarters), and about 10 blocks away from the Pru Center. I think that the name Newark gives the area the most trouble. Sorry, but reps fade slowly.

Hope the Atlantic League is able to deal with the loss. With Bridgeport in trouble too, the league is in danger of getting too small.

Dave

ca
10-27-2008, 09:02 PM
could be getting 2 more clubs with newark and bridgeport maybe ?

dmbishop
10-27-2008, 09:35 PM
Well, Bridgeport was bought by the League founder, CEO, and majority owner of the LI Ducks, so they won't be switching leagues any time soon.

What worries me is that he had to buy the team to save it and had to pay off the debt to their stadium to keep the team afloat. He also paid their payroll back in July.

So now one person owns 2 of the 7 teams in the league. Also, their plans to put a team in the Tidewater area are dead (see the Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report (http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=3733217)). Between the Can-Am League and the Atlantic League, most of the NE areas for independent baseball are filled up.

Dave

ca
10-28-2008, 07:46 AM
and bank accounts as well doesnt sound good

TimosMami2003
10-28-2008, 09:33 AM
I heard rumors at the end of the season that they wanted to bring a team into Virginia and bring back the Road Warriors. Don't have any proof to back it up yet, but its a strong possibility from what I hear. Although now, with the reports of Newark falling out, they may just bring a team into Virginia to replace Newark. Guess they'll keep us wondering until Opening Day 2009! :confused:

dmbishop
10-28-2008, 12:46 PM
Unfortunately, I think that the Ducks' success may be causing some trouble for the league. That team makes so much money, it is incredible. They have sold out every game since the team's inception and there is a waiting list for the few luxury boxes that they have available (one of my clients just got one after a 3 year wait and they helped build the stadium).

The Ducks could reasonably support themselves as a AA-AAA team, but the same can't be said for the rest of the teams in the league. From looking at the attendance figures, it seems like 3000-3500 is the break-even point in the league. LI, Somerset, Lancaster and York were over that, Camden and Maryland were in that area, Newark and Bridgeport were below.

They will have to do something to even out the number of teams, or there will be a lot of off days. Bringing back the Road Warriors would take care of that in the short term, but they will have to find another permanent team for the future.

As for Newark... It's a nice stadium and a big city. A short-season league like the Can-Am league would seem a logical place for them.

Dave

Liebo
10-29-2008, 12:42 AM
I'd agree that the best opportunity for Newark now would be the Can-Am League. With Ottawa now out, that leaves an opening for a Newark entry in the Can-Am League to fill the void.

It's not uncommon in the Atlantic League for Frank Boulton or other owners to support a franchise going through issues. Boulton carried ownership of the Atlantic City Surf for several years, even through a few options for outside ownership. And if I remember correctly, several owners collectively propped up Camden four years ago and have done the same for other franchises as well. So long as it remains a short-term solution until a long-term owner can be found, I don't see it as a tragic move.

I would say that one of the biggest challenges for the Atlantic League is its own impression of being a Triple-A level league, and paying players to match. I don't know what the salary cap is right now for the Atlantic, but high payroll is going to strain any struggling franchise. Truth be told, most fans wouldn't know or care if the league lowered the salary cap and set its sights on players trying to make a run up the developmental ladder, instead of players trying to return to the Major Leagues.

Just a thought...

skipster
10-30-2008, 11:41 AM
The Bears have filed chapter 11.

http://www.nj.com/jjournal/stories/index.ssf?/base/sports-3/1225347921110360.xml&coll=3

Not dead yet, but looking bad.

Duckfan
10-30-2008, 04:47 PM
It's not the area around the ballpark that was a problem, it was the lack of fans. The City lives in the shadow of the Big Apple with the Yankees and Mets a short trip away. Minor League baseball just wasn't good enough for them. Wait until those folks see the ticket prices at the two new Stadiums. They're going to miss the Bears. So will I. I really hope they can work this out.

Liebo,
Max salary(for the "stars") in the Atlantic League is $3k a month and they only get paid for the actual season. That's a grand total of $15k for the season. It's not unusual for AAA players to make $100k and more. I don't think the league can reduce the salaries .

Liebo
10-30-2008, 07:29 PM
Thanks for the clarification on salaries. I would have to say not only can they drop salaries, but if finances are a problem (and obviously they are for more than one franchise), they should drop them.

The important thing to compare is not what a player might earn in the Atlantic League versus Triple-A ball. Of course every player would prefer to be in Trips, even if the money were the same as the Atlantic League; they'd be just one rung below the Majors. But every player in the Atlantic League doesn't have that choice, because they have all been released by Major League organizations, or they were never part of one in the first place.

The real comparison is what the Atlantic League is paying compared to other indy leagues, and it is substantially more. At $15K per player and a roster of 25 players, you're looking at a ceiling of $375,000. Now it's been a few years since I was working in the Can-Am, but at that point the salary cap was $90K. One would presume that the cap has risen since then, and that the Northern League and American Association likely have an even higher cap. Still, the Atlantic League may be paying twice as much in player salaries as other leagues.

If the Atlantic League were to cut to a salary cap of, say, $275K, they would still be paying at last $100K to $150K more than any other indy league. The season is the closest to a full minor league season among indy leagues as well, helping players get more exposure and post bigger numbers than they would in a shorter season. As a result, the Atlantic League could still attract the top talent in independent baseball, and possibly cut $100,000 off of team expenses.

If teams in the Atlantic League are struggling - and it appears that outside of Long Island, some of them are - then the league should stop trying to be an outsider's version of Triple-A, and focus instead on being the top indy league in the country. It's already the latter, but the former will ultimately break the bank.

Duckfan
11-11-2008, 01:04 AM
It looks like the fat lady isn't ready to sing yet.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/11/there_could_be_minor_league.html

ACsurfan
11-11-2008, 07:45 PM
This is huge...props to Bases Loaded Group for trying to keep the Newark Bears alive...

Apparently these folks have vision cause the part of Newark where the Den is located ... is about to undergo major positive development.

Tim Raines, as Manager, keeps up the Newark Bears tradition of signing Big Name Stars...and, that includes guys like Jim Leyrich, Ricky Henderson and Jose Canseco. Not too mention pitchers like Bobby Brownlie and Joe Borowski.

The Newark Bears, after 10 years in Newark, have tradition ... much like their Newark Bears and Eagles ancestors.

And finally, Wayne K., the former Bears and RiverSharks manager, is one of the best managers in baseball. Wayne should be managing AAA or even major league ball. The Phillies should sign Wayne to manage the Lakewood BlueClaws.

Eddie
11-12-2008, 02:32 PM
This is huge...props to Bases Loaded Group for trying to keep the Newark Bears alive...

Apparently these folks have vision cause the part of Newark where the Den is located ... is about to undergo major positive development.

Tim Raines, as Manager, keeps up the Newark Bears tradition of signing Big Name Stars...and, that includes guys like Jim Leyrich, Ricky Henderson and Jose Canseco. Not too mention pitchers like Bobby Brownlie and Joe Borowski.

The Newark Bears, after 10 years in Newark, have tradition ... much like their Newark Bears and Eagles ancestors.

And finally, Wayne K., the former Bears and RiverSharks manager, is one of the best managers in baseball. Wayne should be managing AAA or even major league ball. The Phillies should sign Wayne to manage the Lakewood BlueClaws.

Just remember that the development was promised back when it was built too. I always thought this was part of the problem. Some teams can thrive in the boondocks but Newark proved it couldn't. Even when Rickey was there the ballpark was kind of empty.

Duckfan
11-18-2008, 09:50 PM
If I told you that the League has announced that the 2009 All Star Game was going to be played in Newark, would that mean anything to you?
Good News Bears Fans. The Fat Lady has returned to her dressing room.
Now get out there and support your team! Kidnap your neighbors if necessary.
Fill that park!
Bears sold (http://www.inyork.com/ci_10983144?source=most_emailed)

Here's a great article that gives a blow by blow account of the financial collapse of the Bears and the reasons behind it. Read it. You may be surprised.
Bears (http://albnews.blogspot.com/)