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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!

GoCyclones! 10-01-2009 01:00 AM

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.


LOL I meant an "emphatic yes"! An empathic yes would not be good. I should really get to bed

Sharks52 10-01-2009 08:39 AM

I'm sure the sharks sell or give out 3600 on average per game but honestly on the weeknights you could roll a bowling ball down the main concourse and not hit anybody. Most of the concessions are closed by the sixth inning and by the time the games over you have maybe two or three hundred left. No traffic jams after the games over. They do draw big on Fridays, Saturdays and of course school and camp days. Legit sellouts on weekday day games in the spring and summer. My guess is an average LIVE attendence would be 5500 on Friday, 4500 on Saturday, 3500 on Sunday, 6500 on school-camp day and 800 on weeknights, (400 in May-September and about 1000 during the summer months. About 2400 would probably be a good guess as to how many live show up on average.
I don't know about Virginia. There are factions working there to keep baseball out claiming there are already too many teams within the general driving area. A problem with the sharks in that most people I know head to Trenton or Wilmington if the distances are anywhere close to equal as it's a better overall experience and they do have the advantage of belonging to a major league organization. Those in favor of baseball in Virginia would also prefer affiliated baseball if they could get it so this Bridgeport move there is hardly a done deal, and I don't know how much more money Boulton is going to throw down the toilet on them if he can't get them out by 2011.

GoCyclones! 10-01-2009 09:03 AM

Well, the Atlantic League moving to Loudoun, VA is a done deal. Right by the Dulles airport. It's been approved and will open in 2011. It's only a question of whether it's an expansion team or a relocation. I think it'll work out fine there. It's a booming and affluent area. Not another park within an hour. It's a great location.

dmbishop 10-01-2009 01:36 PM

http://www.newsday.com/news/wang-suo...ease-1.1491997

Amid the fanfare that's come to surround every major step in the Lighthouse megaproject approval process, Charles Wang and Scott Rechler joined Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi Thursday in announcing a proposed lease to develop the 77 acres around Nassau Coliseum.

The announcement of a new 99-year lease - which would keep Wang's New York Islanders playing hockey on Long Island until at least 2030 - comes two days before the start of the hockey season and the date by which Wang said he wanted an answer on whether his Lighthouse project could go forward.

If the Nassau County Legislature approves the ground lease and the Hempstead town board approves new zoning for the site, Wang and Rechler would do a $320 million renovation of the 37-year-old Coliseum at no taxpayer expense within three years.

http://www.morebbsi.com/lighthouse.jpg
The baseball stadium is at the very top.

Dave

GoCyclones! 10-02-2009 12:56 AM

Thanks for the info. Dave. Wow, this seems like such a sweet deal, what's the hold-up? A privately financed arena especially in these economic times, this seems like a win-win. It could just be not enough politicians have been greased. What am I not seeing? Why is Nassau dragging their feet on this?

Duckfan 10-02-2009 02:03 AM

Read that article again Dave. It's only a proposal. If Wang sticks to his guns and the County Legislature doesn't come up with an approval and zoning changes by Saturday,(they won't) the deal is dead. He has given them a deadline and in true Nassau County fashion, they're treating it like a joke. They pulled the same crap when Wang wanted to consolidate CA and build a major complex in Plainview. They jerked him around, he got pissed and moved everything to Suffolk instead. He's a very savvy businessman and won't tolerate their nonsense.

dmbishop 10-02-2009 07:37 AM

http://www.newsday.com/long-island/n...ting-1.1491997

Quote:

Lighthouse's Wang, Rechler: No more negotiating

Lighthouse partners Charles Wang and Scott Rechler said Thursday they are no longer willing to change their plans to develop the land around Nassau Coliseum.

"This is not the point to start negotiating anything," Wang said Thursday, five years after unveiling the project. "It's yes or no."

Even amid the fanfare of Thursday's agreement on a proposed lease between the developers and Nassau County, anger and frustration took center stage. Wang, Rechler and County Executive Thomas Suozzi pointed fingers at Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and the town board for delaying the project and not trying to meet Wang's Oct. 3 deadline for significant progress on the project.
Oh, I'm well aware that yesterday was not the end. That's why I put the word proposed in bold.

Ultimately, it rests on the Zoning Board of the Town of Hempstead. The Lease agreement just ends the County's part of it. Suozzi would not have made such an announcement without knowing that he had the Legislature's approval.

Dave

Duckfan 10-02-2009 01:16 PM

I guess we'll know by Monday. Given Wang's history with Nassau County Government, I wouldn't bet on a positive outcome. Miracles do happen however.

GoCyclones! 10-12-2009 11:27 PM

I found this article about a councilwoman in Hoboken, NJ trying to get a minor league stadium in Hoboken, which would be great since it's the birthplace of baseball and just across the Hudson River from Manhattan. Great place for the Atlantic League. Although in other articles I've read she seems to be really keen on getting an affiliated team and even mentioned the Red Sox Triple A team. Which makes no sense since Pawtucket is 40 minutes from Fenway and they sell out virtually every home game.

The popular local opinion seems to be against it. People act as if Hoboken is some world class city. Before the gentrification and yuppiefication of the past 10 years it was known as the birthplace of Frank Sinatra and of baseball, and that's about it. No one ever went there who wasn't from there.

http://www.nj.com/hobokennow/index.s...d_council.html

BTW, got to visit the Blue Crabs' ballpark during the ALCS. Really intimate and unique ballpark. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it. Kinda in the middle of nowhere but there's a lot of development there, 40 minutes from DC.

Marcelo 12-02-2009 01:25 PM

I have a question that may be silly but, what the heck.....I am going to ask anyway!

What is the possibility of Atlantic League having a franchise in Ottawa, Canada? There is a first class 10,000 seat stadium there, and it seems there will be no Can-Am team in Ottawa for 2010.

Would it be a feasible possibility?

ACsurfan 12-02-2009 02:19 PM

Great idea...but the travel expense just doesn't justify it...

The Atlantic League is the premier independent league but what makes it work is the short bus rides

ottawasportsfan2010 12-02-2009 02:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ACsurfan (Post 125365)
Great idea...but the travel expense just doesn't justify it...

The Atlantic League is the premier independent league but what makes it work is the short bus rides

What do you see as a short bus ride.

dmbishop 12-02-2009 03:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ottawasportsfan2010 (Post 125366)
What do you see as a short bus ride.

Maryland's stadium to Bridgeport (the two teams that are farthest apart in the league) is 300 miles with 6 other teams in between.

Bridgeport to Ottawa is 475 miles with no other teams in between.

Dave

GoCyclones! 12-02-2009 04:28 PM

Wow, you guys in Ottawa are really hopeful for a team. I hope it works out.

I think Ottawa could work for the Can-Am, maybe the NY-Penn but definitely not the Atlantic League. The only way I could see it working is if Miles Wolff sold the Quebec team to someone who wanted to jump leagues or if the Can-Am folded, or if someone were to put a team in the antiquated park in Burlington, VT if the Lake Monsters left, or placing a team in the English speaking part of Montreal. None are farfetched scenarios but unlikely. You'd have to have at least two teams to make it work is my point. Mapquest lists the drive from Ottawa to Bridgeport as a nine-hour drive. But hey, if the GBL is putting teams in Hawaii, anything is possible.

GoCyclones! 12-02-2009 05:00 PM

I found it interesting that several NY-Penn teams released their schedules today with no mention of a team in Connecticut. It's long been rumored that Jamestown or Vermont would move to the vacant park in Norwich. This would be a great market for a Can-Am team as it's close to other teams in the league, but I wonder if the AL has taken a look at it as well. It's a really nice facility, an hour and a half from Bridgeport. They averaged about 3,000 as the AA affiliate of the Giants. So if that stayed the same, it would be one of the lowest drawing teams in the AL. Maybe a natural rivalry with Bridgeport could help, but if the rivalry with New Britain didn't save it, I don't think Bridgeport will either.

You know, from North Carolina to Maine, you could throw up a ballpark anywhere along that section of the Eastern seabord and it could be midgets playing ball and people will come, except that teams struggle in Connecticut. I wonder why that it is. New Britain is the only exception. But Eastern League, Can-Am, NECBL teams have left and the Bluefish are rumored to be leaving after next season. I find it surprising. There are seven pro teams and two collegiate league teams in the small state of NJ, and they last with varying degrees of success of course. NJ is more densely populated though. I don't what it is.

ottawasportsfan2010 12-02-2009 05:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GoCyclones! (Post 125372)
Wow, you guys in Ottawa are really hopeful for a team. I hope it works out.

I think Ottawa could work for the Can-Am, maybe the NY-Penn but definitely not the Atlantic League. The only way I could see it working is if Miles Wolff sold the Quebec team to someone who wanted to jump leagues or if the Can-Am folded, or if someone were to put a team in the antiquated park in Burlington, VT if the Lake Monsters left, or placing a team in the English speaking part of Montreal. None are farfetched scenarios but unlikely. You'd have to have at least two teams to make it work is my point. Mapquest lists the drive from Ottawa to Bridgeport as a nine-hour drive. But hey, if the GBL is putting teams in Hawaii, anything is possible.

Whie yes people in ottawa want a baseball team.The issue is if they don't get one is the stadium will likely be torn down and the anti sports fans will be all happy and say i told you so.I am not sure if there are to many city in north american like ottawa where so many people are pushing for parks in green space ina city with over 800 parks yet thats no enough.Even the football stadium some want torn down and a park built there i just fear if we keep going down this road the city will be so over come with parks and green space i just don't think it would be a good thing.

GoCyclones! 12-03-2009 12:42 AM

BTW construction has begun on the massive project in Yonkers, NY which will include a ballpark for an AL team. I believe there are some eminent domain issues remaining (interesting how that definition has evolved over the years), but the wheels are in motion. I think it'll be a great location. Original estimates were that it'll be ready by 2012, but I wouldn't be surprised to see that pushed back.

OttawaBallFan 12-03-2009 04:01 PM

> Wow, you guys in Ottawa are really hopeful for a team.

Yep, but it won't be in 2010 in my opinion.

> I think Ottawa could work for the Can-Am, maybe the NY-Penn but definitely not the Atlantic League.

Agree. The AL starts a month earlier. We'd have same problem we had with Lynx. Weather not good enough in late April. Same for Quebec which is worse. I don't see Ottawa or Quebec in the AL.

Can-Am is our best option. I don't think the minor leagues want to be in Canada anymore. The IL commish said so publicly. There's only one minor league team left in Canada and that's an A-class short-season team in Vancouver. Ten years ago, there was lots more at all levels. Coincidence? I don't think so.

> the antiquated park in Burlington, VT if the Lake Monsters left

My understanding is that the Lake Monsters ARE leaving. League told them their park is not suitable and the owner can't afford to pay millions to renovate. It's an old ballpark and the outfield has sunk a foot lower than the infield. I don't think even an indie league would want that. New park needed there.

> placing a team in the English speaking part of Montreal.

?? Why the English part of Montreal? Francophones enjoy baseball too. I'm one of them.

> I found it interesting that several NY-Penn teams released their schedules today with no mention of a team in Connecticut.

Doesn't mean a thing.

> This would be a great market for a Can-Am team

Don't know but sure, why not. You do say however that teams struggle in Connecticut. There's got to be a reason. Poor marketing? Less interest in that region? Population not high enough?

> The issue is if they don't get one is the stadium will likely be torn down

I don't think that will happen that fast.

> and the anti sports fans will be all happy and say i told you so.

For sure. Even the guy who wants to play soccer at the stadium the other night, paraphrasing, "It's been proven baseball doesn't work here. Why are we doing this? Let's try soccer". Ugh.

GoCyclones! 02-24-2010 12:10 AM

I can't wait for the season to start. Did anyone read that article about how Peter Kirk and Opening Day Partners are working with Sugar Land (Houston suburbs) in trying to build a stadium. Kirk said the best options would be the American Association and the Atlantic League. I admire his allegiance to the Atlantic League but could you imagine an expansion team in Texas in the ATLANTIC League. American Association makes so much more sense.

I read an article about how the tickets for the new team in Virginia (I like the name Loudon Hounds. Who picked these names anyway?) could go for $20. Isn't that the antithesis to minor league ball - affordable family entertainment??

GoCyclones! 03-07-2010 11:46 PM

I found it very interesting to read Opening Day Partners' proposal to build a ballpark and Brooks Robinson Youth Learning Center to Montogomery County, MD. This is gonna get done. Peter Kirk gets things done. Montgomery County is one of the wealthiest in the nation. This is not tied to some insane real estate deal. So far it's only a proposal but I think one's got to be optimistic. I only hope it means expansion and not the future home of the Newark Bears!

Sugar Land, TX has selected Opening Day Partners to build a ballpark and provide a team. Since the Astros have territorial rights and are not interested in having one of their teams there, it'll be an independent team. Probably in the AA.

I was mistaken in an earlier post about ground being broken for a new ballpark in Yonkers, NY. But I did read the transcript of a speech given by the mayor of Yonkers two weeks ago, in which he said all final approvals have been made and he expects ground-breaking this year. Again, tied to some major real estate deal, this been in the works for several years already. Good to see it finally get off the ground!

Can't wait for the season! Let's go Bears!!

ca 03-08-2010 09:39 AM

metro houston in the aa
 
if metro houston puts a team in the aa then where do they put team # 12 assuming this se tx team is a new team

GoCyclones! 03-08-2010 10:55 PM

Sorry, dude, don't know much about the AA. Try Googling it and see what you come up with. I think that's still a couple years away though. I'm all about the Atlantic League, baby!

GoCyclones! 03-12-2010 10:29 PM

I found this an interesting tidbit regarding the new Sugar Land team:


In the last month Houston has been the seat of intrigue in the baseball world after Peter Kirk signed an MOU with Sugar Land to develop a new ballpark and bring in pro baseball. After the Houston Astros killed any plans for an affiliated team in Sugar Land, officials there turned to the indy market and signed the deal with Kirk. (More details of that deal are emerging: we're told Kirk plans on putting an independent Atlantic League team in Sugar Land, flying the team and opponent in and out for games.) We're also told Kirk intimated he could bring in an affiliated team -- and the Astros are reevaluating their opposition to affiliated ball in Sugar Land.

GoCyclones! 04-12-2010 10:04 PM

Wow, there's quite a bit of buzz regarding the Atlantic League and Sugar Land, TX. Miles Wolff himself said if he were a betting man he'd bet on the AL in Sugar Land. Peter Klein mentioned it could be first of four teams in an AL West Division. Could be ready to go by 2012. Sounds interesting!!

GoCyclones! 04-13-2010 12:08 PM

Sorry, Peter Kirk (Opening Day Partners) I meant not Klein

Texasrangers13 04-13-2010 04:27 PM

So then what would the other 3 markets be...

Sugar Land
???
???
???

GoCyclones! 04-14-2010 01:23 AM

I have no idea. Good question, dude. I would imagine they'd be bus rides to Sugar Land. Galveston and Beaumont have hosted teams in the past. I don't know enough about those areas to guess whether they can support a team again. I would expect something else within the metro Houston area. The metro Dallas area seems pretty saturated with teams. Baton Rouge is an open market several hours away. Quite a trip though.

lamearmjr 04-14-2010 09:29 PM

Maybe if they could convince Amarillo to leave the ULB that would be a great addition. The only way you go Dallas is if its very far East Dallas, then that may work. Heres an idea, maybe inter-league games with soon to be ATL West teams and AA South Teams? Honestly though, SL needs to go with the AA, travel costs would eat them alive. Ok say they do go with the ATL and there are 3 other teams in the west divison, that will be alot of games against the same few teams, with an unbalanced schedule. Oh and I hope they dont want fans to ever follow them on the road. While the AA gives teams much closer, fewer miles, and maybe not the top indy league but without doubt the second best.

GoCyclones! 04-15-2010 10:19 PM

I hear ya, a move to the AA would make more sense but I think it's doable. I mean, if the GBL is playing games in Hawaii now, I think this can work. But I understand your point that it does defeat the purpose of keeping costs low. I think the thing it has going for it is Peter Kirk. He seems to have a good vision and a golden touch. So if he sincerely believes it's a good idea, I trust it.

I think he sees it as there are limited expansion opportunities in the northeast. There 20 pro baseball teams within three hours of NYC, not to mention a couple of collegiate league teams. While there are couple of more places to build like Yonkers, NY and Nassau County, there aren't a whole lot of opportunities for the league to expand left. It does sound a little out there, but I admire Kirk as a visionary.

GoCyclones! 05-06-2010 11:19 PM

It seemed to escape my notice that Frank Boulton became the primary owner of the Newark Bears. No announcement was made. Just thinking out loud, but I wonder if the new team in Loudoun County, VA will be a relocation rather than expansion. The league is thriving but there are two struggling franchises. I go to quite a few Bears games, despite the big names on the roster, some nights you may find larger crowds at little league games. Makes one wonder how much longer they can survive like that...

I just want to show some love for PatriotsBaseball.com. Very informative site with player interviews, including one where Ryan Freel, in the bigs for several seasons, called Travis Anderson the best hitting coach he's had. Freel is an interesting dude. I think he just loves playing baseball. I was at the Pats game last Saturday. When Freel got his first hit of the season, an RBI single, he raised his first in the air and then asked for the ball. I was amazed. Imagine Somerset's lineup with Jack Cust hitting cleanup...he's from the area. Not playing a whole lot now in Sacramento. I don't think it's farfetched!


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