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-   -   Future of the Atlantic League... (//www.oursportscentral.com/boards/showthread.php?t=15781)

GoCyclones! 05-11-2010 04:47 PM

While searching for some news about any groundbreaking in Loudoun County, VA, I came across an article in Leesburg Today that says two teams are scheduled to open in 2011 and one more in 2012. Doesn't appear any ground has broken in VA yet. Nor in Yonkers which was slated for 2012. I wonder who that other team would be. Although it's entirely possible it was erroneous info.

Things are not looking good in Newark, my friends! I went to the day game of the day-night doubleheader on Saturday. With yet another sparse crowd, I asked some knowledgeable folks about Boulton's out-of-nowhere majority ownership. I heard that some owners had wanted out and he didn't want to have a Road Warriors team. Wow, so if that's true, they were close to folding. Not that they're so far away now. This could be the last season for the Bears. Yeah, it's Newark and it has that image and casual fans aren't that interested in hanging out in Brick City, I don't believe ownership has done a good job in promoting the team, especially being the closest team to NYC. There's good coverage for most AL teams including some blog sites but nothing for the Bears beyond their website. Granted promoting a team that plays in Newark is a challenge but you have to step up and try to make it work. A little disappointed in the lack of effort.

I'm loving my subscription to Bob Wirz's Atlantic League Notebook! Highly recommend it!

beatman10 05-15-2010 10:04 AM

It is disappointing about the Bears attendance
I am a season ticket holder for the Bears, and I just feel like I'm waiting for the inevitable folding and/or moving of the team. I agree with GoCyclones about the lack of promotion. That could be a sign that the team may be moving. I also think The Newark Star-Ledger does a lousy job of covering the Bears, and only covers them when there's a negative story about the team. They were all over the story when the team went bankrupt in 2008. I don't get why there's so much hatred for Newark, and why people want to see the Newark Bears and the city fail. I don't want to see Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium end up like Bernie Robbins Stadium in Atlantic City (home of the AC Surf). That stadium is just sitting there rotting away. Maybe attendence will increase when the schools let out for summer, but the Bears really need to do some better promoting.

ACsurfan 05-20-2010 01:57 PM

Hope for Bears
I spoke with an official at another Atlantic League team who indicated the Bears will be back next year...the main reason being that Frank Bolton is behind the team and is convinced that both Newark and Bridgeport can be successful.

If the section of town where the Bears stadium is located ever gets developed...perhaps attendance will improve. For the first five years or so the Bears had decent attendance...not sure why so many people stopped going to the games but it's probably tied to the economy.

As for the AC Surf, perhaps the Phillies will decide to put their NY-Penn League team in the AC stadium. That way, 4 affiliates would be within 2 hours of Philadelphia. As a Phillies affiliate, I bet the Surf could get decdent crowds.

GoCyclones! 05-20-2010 10:42 PM

Hey Surfy McSurf. Re AC, wow, man, I've searched and searched and have not come across any sort of buzz regarding Atlantic City. The only thing I have heard from someone is that the stadium has fallen into a such a state of disrepair. Wires stripped, windows broken, busted pipes.

You're right, if the area around the ballpark ever improved, it could have potential. They added the light rail line. Who knows, if the Nets got LeBron James maybe he could do for Newark what he did for Cleveland. But I feel like I've been hearing about a planned renaissance for years. Ten-year plans and the like. Some progress has been made but it's been sloooowww going. I do feel it has some potential though whereas Bridgeport is as good as it's gonna get right now. I think they'd be better served with a NY-Penn team. I'm not quite sure if I believe your source. I really feel there's less of an effort this year. It's almost as if they've given up putting money into the park or promoting the team. I used to go to a bunch of Bears games. It feels so devoid of energy or excitement I'd rather take the extra 40 minute train ride to go to Somerset now, and that's what I've been doing.

On another note, so it's a done deal - there will be an Atlantic League team in Sugar Land, TX in 2012. Should be interesting. The start of an AL West. I wonder what other markets. I've heard that Waco, TX was interested in a team. Not sure what's happened there. BallparkDigest.com reports that Cumberland, MD is interested in having a baseball team and at least one AL owner has spoken to officials. From what I know about that area is it's a small town in the middle of nowhere. Can minor league ball survive there?

GoCyclones! 05-20-2010 11:25 PM

Just thinking out loud, but I'd think that another AL West team that could work would be in Galveston County area, perhaps in League City, an affluent community. About 40 miles from Sugar Land, could set up a nice rivalry.

GoCyclones! 05-28-2010 12:46 AM

Again, I want to recommend signing up for Bob Wirz's Atlantic League Notebook. Definitely worth it!

I don't want to get into any copyright issues but earlier in the week he had an interview with Frank Boulton and referred to Sugar Land as a "great starting point" toward Western growth. He didn't feel it would be wise to take on one team by itself. "When asked if other cities could be added by the Sugar Land target date of 2012, Boulton offered a firm 'yes' adding all the possibilities might not be in Texas."

A four to six team western division is the talk.

GoCyclones! 06-02-2010 01:34 AM

I'm very curious about the Newark situation. There's a feeling that ownership has given up - the stadium isn't no longer well maintained, lack of ballpark promotions. I found articles from throughout the past ten years wondering if things will get better for the Bears. I've come to the conclusion that the Bears will only succeed if Newark the city improve.

Now I've found various articles about a development group headed by Shaquille O'Neal gaining approval to build luxury condos in downtown Newark. Good job by Shaq for caring about his hometown! No shovels have gone into the ground yet but it's been approved, whatever that means. Construction on a Downtown Marriott is planned, the first new hotel in Newark in 40 years. The Nets in Newark, albeit only for a couple seasons plus Lincoln Park Cultural District set to open in 2011. This could be the start of that long-awaited rebirth of Newark. Will the Bears still be around for it??

ZombieTom 06-02-2010 06:47 AM

well for what its worth The Newark Bears recently setup their online merch store through their website. I don't see that being an effort applyed by a team on the way out. more like the beginning of a turn around...

I hope they stick. I'll be heading up for two games this season, and if still around next year ill see more...

GoCyclones! 06-03-2010 09:56 AM

Hey Tom. Send me a MSG when you go. I'll meet up with you and we can talk Atlantic League baseball and I'll introduce you to the hardcore Bears fans! It's a nice park, but you'll see some areas that need some obvious touching up left undone.

ZombieTom 06-04-2010 07:48 PM

Are you the same crew that comes to Camden when the bears play the sharks?

There was a whole crew of Bears fans the last time i saw the two play each other...

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