View Full Version : Overall Health of the League

Silver Sox Fan
04-09-2007, 02:17 PM
As I preface every post, I am the new guy on the block. I don't know a lot about the GBL. Let me also put my bias out there. I love baseball and I am glad it is in Reno. Without it, I'm driving 2-4 hours to watch a team. So I am going to be an unabashed supporter of the league.

That being said, I read some of the older posts on this board and saw a lot of negativity regarding the health of the league. Just curious what some of your thoughts on the subject were as we close in on Opening Day.

How is the league doing in overall attendance, revenue, etc? Can we expect the GBL to be around for a while or has it peaked? What do you make of teams coming and going over the first 2 and almost three seasons? And how does the sale of the now OC Flyers affect your view of the league?

Again, I'm along for the ride either way since I am just happy we have a pro team in Reno. But I'd love to hear from some of you who have been around for a while and are more acquainted with the league.

04-11-2007, 02:20 PM
Judging from the leagues response to your question, or lack of, they probably don't want to commit to an answer. However, let's revisit the last two years.

YEAR 1 :p There was excitement & enthusiasm, something new, the league had Rickey Henderson as a pawn to stick out there, and draw some really great crowds. I know here in San Diego, they had a great marketing stategy, we had give-aways, the ever popular Rickey Henderson bobblehead, player appearances, and most of all just a fun time at the games.

YEAR 2] :confused: Who knew what was going on? The league lost 3 teams, not sure, until a couple weeks before theseason started whether they were going to stay with the pitchers hitting or go with the DH, oops they chose the DH. They tried to draw crowds by parading around the biggest flop in baseball, Jose Canesco, oops, what a great roll model for our kids. Here in San Diego the marketing was horrible, only had giveaways towards the end of the season. It looks like I only went to the games for the promos, might be true, but when you are competeing against the Padres who are giving something away almost every week, well they help draw fans over to your side.

YEAR 3:mad: San Diego is gone, replaced by St George. Sure I know save money by making the teams travel there, and spend money on accomodations, good move, NOT! They will probably parade around Pete Rose this year, lookout Reno!!

Well I need to get off my soapbox now. All in all it was a fun ride, just some bad decisions made last year, and unfortunatly they cost San Diego our team.

Good Luck in Year 3!!!

04-17-2007, 01:48 PM
Silver Sox Fan
I'm pretty new to these boards myself and reading back all I mainly see is negativity. I think a lot of people truly want to see the league succeed but have absolutely no problem pointing out, what they think, evey flaw is. I also noticed that at the very beginning, most posts said "Good luck making it to year two" and then going into year two it was "Good luck making it to year three" and again as we head into a third year we're seeing the "Good luck making it another year"...I can't wait to see the 4th year response. ;)

Also I think that the comissioner would have no problem telling you how the league is doing. He's never shied away from responding here before.

I'm glad to see a fan such as yourself here..it's refreshing :D

Silver Sox Fan
04-18-2007, 04:25 PM
That is some good feedback...and a good perspective.

The commish is good at responding so I will take his silence over the past couple of weeks to mean that he is busy getting the league set-up. So I don't take his non response as a bad thing as the post above you stated.

If they've have been saying this is the last year for the past three years then I guess we're in good shape to have the league around for a while!

04-19-2007, 02:07 PM
We thought the same thing in San Diego!!!!

Silver Sox Fan
04-19-2007, 02:45 PM
Pads Fan:

Can you give me some background on the whole stadium thing? The way I understand it, SDSU was basically trying to charge an outrageous price for the stadium use and it seems that they at least on some level may regret it.

Here in Reno, they have a 10 year lease and it seems like both parties are happy. University of Nevada Reno was one of two WAC schools (if a recall correctly) that did not have lights. Add to that that the weather trashed our field frequently and it is easy to see why UNR likes having the Silver Sox around since they invested a nice chunk of change ot fix those situations.

But I'd love to hear more about San Diego since I wasn't there. What were some of the issues that saw first hand that make you question the viability of the league?



04-19-2007, 05:06 PM

I had an opportunity once to talk with the SD GM about this while I came out to a game to see my outfield sign (former sponsor with the Surf Dawgs). My understaning is that the lease actually was not that bad, provided the Surf Dawgs were able to put fans in the stands. For a shade over 3k per game, the team leased TGS complete with clean up services and not many additional charges, if any.

They rec'd a percentage that again was not a bad arrangement, provided the the team was able to draw bodies into the stands. The sliding scale provided an opportunity to generate probably up to 30% (just a guess) net sales if the concessions sold "x" amount. As I understand, parking had no flexibility, and no money was generated as funds from parking were not shared.

To me, it looks like SDSU carried their end of the deal and it really was not their problem that the Surf Dawgs could not bring people into the stands. If every night the team had brought in 1,500 paying fans (like I was told in my sponsorship talks), I don't think the GBL would have been crying foul on SDSU. The 3 times I attended games to look at my investment combined probably did not equal 1,500 fans, and of those there I wonder how many were paying customers.

That's my take!


Pietsch Fan
04-19-2007, 05:32 PM
I have no idea what the lease was with SDSU, but I do know one of the GBLs issues was with bowl cleaning. Cleaning was minimal and even that wasn't done well. Every game the ushers had to wipe down chairs and railings. There was a big hubbub when the Aflac game was played there, too. Cleaning either wasn't done or was done late.

I wouldn't take the Commish's lack of response on this thread as anything more than information not for public consumption. I hope the GBL flourishes; I hope all teams have record (paying) attendance; I hope USD gives in and leases their soon to be improved field to the GBL.


04-19-2007, 05:39 PM
I can't speak to the amount of butts in seats but I can say that the SDSU did a *horrible* job with clean up.

While you were a sponsor and went to a couple games, I and many others attended most all of the games and I saw many-many times the ushers cleaning up, the GM (Jeff at the time) dumping trash cans, and other game-day staff doing much of the same.

I will be the first person to jump all over the GBL when they are wrong, I'm not shy that way, but to say that the deal-gone-bad is 100% the GBL's fault is ludicrous.

My best guess from hearing some of the issues it was a it-takes-two-to-tango situation.

04-19-2007, 05:48 PM
From my observations, even if SDSU gave them a free lease every night the team would have sank. That's hypothetical of course, but between the stadium staff, rent of office space, and all the other components the writing appeared in the cards.

I'm not really sure what an Aflac game is, though I will say it certainly wasn't impeccable with construction going on. Last year it seems like more time and attention should have been placed by the Surf Dawgs staff to put a little elbow grease in before the gates opened. I'm not defending SDSU, just think the league attempted to make the college to be the bad guy when both sides should take some responsibility in the demise.

04-20-2007, 03:53 AM
Sorry, can't comment on the legal issues regarding San Diego.

But back to the original question that Keith had regarding the health of the GBL -- to paraphrase Mark Twain who said it best when his obituary was printed in the U.S. while he was visiting London "The reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated". And as Aztlgrl pointed out - on an annual basis it seems...

As I discussed in a previous post -- this isn't an easy business, survival is considered success, we have a lot to learn and have made plenty of mistakes, but are getting better each year and are tracking to our original business plan to be profitable at the end of our third playing year. We'll continue to adapt along the way -- exiting markets either permanently or temporarily that don't make economic sense (and improving at market selection/launch and lease negotiating to minimize this), shifting the business model to include local ownership when we believe that would drive more success for a specific team, developing profitable lines of business ancillary to the GBL summer season such as year round concessions at our venues (Long Beach) or the Arizona Winter League (Yuma), all while continuing to focus on bringing affordable professional baseball and family entertainment to communities in the western U.S. that are ready to support it.

As we enter our third year, we continue to climb up the ladder of professional independent league longevity - surpassing the two year or less leagues since 1988 that include: All-American Association, Arizona-Mexico League, Atlantic Coast League, Big South League, Canadian Baseball League, Empire State League, Golden State League, Great Central League, Mid-America League, North Atlantic League, North Central League, and the Southeastern League.

We still have a long way to go to reach the stability and success of the Frontier or Atlantic League, but appreciate all the essential support and passion of our fans and business partners.

I will answer all questions I am able to here, and anyone can always call or email me if they would like a deeper discussion.

Best Regards,
Kevin Outcalt
Golden Baseball League

Silver Sox Fan
04-22-2007, 07:19 PM
Great response as always, Kevin! For what it is worth, you've got a fan for life in me and my family. I'm pulling for you to make it the Reno market for years to come!

By the way, I know you mentioned some advertising in the Reno area about now. Any idea where I should be looking to see it? I'd love to see what you guys came up with.

Best of luck,