View Full Version : Southwest Division
10-09-2010, 10:59 PM
This is my second post. My first was one about the YorkRevsTV.com site that carries all of their games, and have been lurking for a good a bit on this site. Anyway... with today's announcement that makes the addition of a new division with Sugar Land official. What places do you think would make good markets for ALPB teams? Also, how do you think travel would work out with the other teams coming down to play these clubs?
atlantic league imo could look at another metro houston locale along with baton rouge and maybe biloxi
10-11-2010, 01:49 AM
Some interesting ideas. I hadn't considered Biloxi but read how former Met Barry Lyons is trying to bring minor league ball there, so could be a fit. There's a brand new stadium in Baton Rouge for LSU. The college season is so short, I wonder if that's a possibility as well. The ULB had plans to build a brand new 10,000 seat stadium in Downtown Dallas. Although the project fell through because the land was unsuitable, since the ULB appears to be on the ropes after losing Laredo and are on the verge of losing Amarillo, I wonder if this is a project that the Atlantic League could explore. There's a lot of land, a lot of people and a lot of construction going on in the Dallas area. Mini cities appear to be sprouting up between Dallas and Fort Worth. I'm in Irving right now for the weekend, and there's a LOT of development happening here and it's mostly less than ten years old. The American Association has two teams in the area though, both middle of the pack attendance-wise, so could a third team fit?
10-11-2010, 01:55 AM
As far as travel goes, the idea floating around was that the schedule would expand to 144 games, with the extra four games going towards travel expenses. I like it. There are limited expansion opportunities in the heavily saturated Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region and the league needs to expand. Hey, it was once thought crazy for the Dodgers to move to LA. Look how well that turned out!
10-11-2010, 03:21 PM
It seems that the 144 game schedule has been scrapped. Ryan Dunleavy wrote this in an article:
If the Can-Am League approves the addition of the Bears, Boulton said the Road Warriors – an Atlantic League-operated traveling farm franchise – will be reinstated and the 140-game schedule will be reduced to 126 games for the 2011 season. That was the exact set-up from 2002-04 and 2006-07.
10-11-2010, 08:46 PM
Jids, the shorter schedule is only temporary. It's only for 2011 while the Road Warriors are around.
10-12-2010, 11:35 PM
Besides: 126 games with the Road Warriors in the schedule = 72 home games for the "real" teams.
I'm skeptical of the whole expansion idea, though. It may well work IF they can find three more decent franchise locations by 2012 (or whenever the Sugar Land ballpark will eventually be ready), I just don't feel it's terribly likely that they will, unless they're willing and able to raid the American Association. And even then there's the issue that the AA ballparks really aren't up to Atlantic League standards without further enhancements. Though maybe they'll be willing to compromise on that point while they're still trying to get their foot in the door...who knows. It's all very vague right now.
10-13-2010, 04:09 PM
Here are some possible sites for Texas expansion. This is from an article on Independentbaseball.net:
The last paragraph of this article is interesting as it appears that the Atlantic League is looking for ownership groups and cities in the Southwest:
According to Travelmath.com, the maximum travel distance between Bridgeport, CT (the Atlantic League’s Northern-most team) and Fairfax, VA (roughly the area of the new 2012 Loudon County team and likely Southern-most city) – as well as Waldorf, MD which is the home of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs – is roughly 300 miles. Assuming a rough maximum of 400 miles from Sugar Land Texas, in order to keep travel costs reasonable, then the following markets could be options where no pro baseball exists:
Wichita Falls, TX (population just above 100,000)
one of the areas east of Dallas (Rockwall County, Garland/Mesquite, etc.)
the southern area of Austin
Abilene, TX (population 117,000)
The Dallas-Fort Worth market is a tough one to crack due to several teams which have experienced financial trouble there in recent times (Grand Prairie, Fort Worth, the CBL teams in Lewisville and McKinney, and others who have looked at placing independent baseball in the area). This is not to say that it wouldn’t draw well with a new stadium, but it might be best for the Atlantic League to look outside the DFW area for its Southwestern expansion.
Of course, all of this is speculation! Several factors will come into play such as the willingness of the city to add a team, current stadiums, income and age demographics, if a municipality has the budget and willingness to finance part of a stadium, ease of getting a liquor license, etc.
10-13-2010, 04:45 PM
The Southwest is a different beast than the Northeast - the current Atlantic League footprint is ridiculously small by indy league standards (even the Frontier league with its emphasis on smaller markets has always been quite a bit more spread out), so it's unlikely their planned Southern division will be anywhere as tightly packed even under a best-case scenario.
10-13-2010, 11:10 PM
I was thinking the same thing, that it's not as densely populated as the Northeast, so it's definitely going to be more spread out. Waco has talked about a team for years but no real developments have come about there. One thing is for sure, everything is pretty tight lipped! Not even loose unconfirmed rumors are out. Just pure speculation.
Also remember the plan wasn't for four teams by 2012. The goal is for four to six teams eventually but two or maybe just Sugar Land by 2012.
Man, the American Association is blowing up by adding four more teams and eventually Laredo and possibly Amarillo to go 16 teams. I do wonder where they (AtL) can possibly find three to five more open markets...
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