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GoCyclones! 09-27-2009 12:19 AM

Future of the Atlantic League...
 
I figure we could use this forum to post any rumblings.

Great to see the Atlantic League thriving. Newark will be around and in the Atlantic League next year. New ownership wants to make it work.

Word is the League has made up two schedules for 2010, one with a road team, one without. Ownership in Bridgeport wants to see if it can get a certain number of season ticket sales. If not, they may fold. Either way, it looks like they were bound to move to Northern Virginia. Just a matter of, will they play out one more year? I wonder if they'd draw better by moving to the Yale Bowl in New Haven. The area of the ballpark isn't great and I even heard about players being mugged after the games.

Regarding possible expansion, Bergen Cliff Hawks is a dead deal. I hear conflicting stories about the second team in LI. Any updates on the Lighthouse Project? I read October 3rd is a deadline. For what? Not too sure. Any word on a ground-breaking in Yonkers? It seems when ballpark plans are tied to a larger real estate deal they fail. That would be a great location for a team. Opening Day Partners (Lancaster, York, Southern Maryland) is looking to build a park in West Chester, PA, but it's likely to be for the Phillies NY-Penn League team.

dmbishop 09-27-2009 12:22 PM

Don't worry about the Lighthouse Project. It has become a typical Long Island political cluster-f...

Even if it is ever approved (Oct 3 is a Charles Wang deadline, which will be moved back after 10/3) don't expect meaningful construction to start until at least 2011. The baseball stadium, which is in some plans, but not in others, is part of Phase II, which means 2013-2015.

Newsday story on the history of the Lighthouse Project

The 'official' Lighthouse Website

Dave

GoCyclones! 09-27-2009 09:37 PM

Oh wow, thanks for the info. So it's quite a ways away, that's if it ever gets off the ground. Are you from the area? I wonder the local opinion is. I'm sure they want to keep the Islanders but I'm sure there are major zoning issues.

Sharks52 09-30-2009 11:18 AM

With Connecticut of the Eastern League heading for Richmond it looks like the Atlantic League is out of that market. I think the only thing keeping the Bluefish in Bridgeport will be if the Bears fold as the AL wouldn't want two traveling teams. If the Bears don't get the additional investors they want and decide to fold the AL would probably be better off going with six teams and a 96 game schedule and eliminating those May and September games that draw about 300 people.

dmbishop 09-30-2009 12:31 PM

Atlantic League Attendance Report

Team----------------Total-------Average
Long Island---------414,973-----6,014
Somerset------------355,429-----5,305
Lancaster-----------314,228-----4,690
York----------------276,446-----4,126
Southern Maryland---239,541-----3,629
Camden--------------234,519-----3,608
Newark--------------163,736-----2,558
Bridgeport----------162,121-----2,384

GoCyclones! 09-30-2009 06:27 PM

You know, sharks, Im not in favor of your idea. I like the fact that what makes the Atlantic League better than other Indy leagues is the high level of talent and longer season. I think the league is thriving. I love the fact there's still Atlantic League games going. I was there last week in Somerset and they had a full house. There are two weak teams, sure. Every league has weaker teams. Bridgeport are likely to move to Virginia, which is expected to be a good market. I understand new ownership in Newark is going to start marketing the team more in NYC (about time. What took so long?). That should help. It's newark. They'll never get somerset or LI crowd but I do think they haven't reached their potential in attendance.

It's funny, New Jersey has become such a hotbed for minor league baseball yet why does it struggle in Connecticut? If Bridgeport leaves there'll just be one team in the state. Although a NY-Penn team (jamestown or Vermont) Is expected to move into Norwich.

Sharks52 09-30-2009 06:53 PM

I also like the fact they play a long season as do most hard core fans, but the bottom line is making money and keeping weak franchises and extra games that the average fan doesn't go to weakens the league. Bridgeport moving to Virginia appears to be out the door and the Bears returning next year is anything but a sure bet. Check this out. http://blogs.mycentraljersey.com/pat...n-limbo-again/

GoCyclones! 10-01-2009 12:02 AM

Yeah, I read that article last night. Crazy. What was up with that all the venom that blogger posted? Ouch.

Well, when I asked Tom Cetnar whether the Bears will be around and stay in the Atlantic League next year, he gave me an empathic yes. I would imagine ownership would give it two years before they cut their losses. I will say this about Tom Cetnar, he really just loves baseball. I think it's more than just about making money with him, but at the end of the day that's what it's all about, right?

So you don't think the Bluefish are moving to Loudon, VA? Why? I hope not. I'd rather see the league expand than move teams around. The rumor I heard was that was the reason Boulton bought into the team, to gain control and move them after next season. I think that's going to be a great market, right up with there with Somerset and LI. I think Yonkers will be a great market as well, but there doesn't seem to be any imminent ground-breaking.

So I assume you're a Sharks fan? I know attendance numbers are always inflated (I go to a lot of Bears games, believe me those numbers are inflated!) But do you think that's a true 3,600 they get in Camden? I love that ballpark. My favorite in NJ!

GoCyclones! 10-01-2009 12:45 AM

BTW, check out what the proposed park in Yonkers will look like.

http://www.westfaironline.com/compon...-to-worry.html

Looks really nice. Almost like a major league park. The thing is, the field is on the third floor of the structure. How crazy is that? SFCyonkers.com is the site of the developers.

Why is it whenever a ballpark is tied to a larger real estate deal it rarely works out? I have my doubts about this. Would be nice and it's a great market.

GoCyclones! 10-01-2009 12:57 AM

hmm looks like it's actually on the verge of approval. There's a vote today on it.

http://www.yonkersny.gov/Index.aspx?...9&recordid=611

I'm somewhat familiar with Yonkers. My dad lives up there. I don't see how this will be anything but good for the city. There are always the naysayers.
Could be ready for 2012. Let's go!


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