7/14/2009

This again

Every couple of years, this story pops up...

Could Minor League Baseball Be Coming to Dubuque?


Alternate headline...Could Minor League Baseball NOT be coming to Dubuque?

A few key points from that video above...
"We are going to have some form of minor league baseball in this town. I can't tell you when but as soon as I can make it happen, we will make it happen," says Joe Chlapaty. Chlapaty is a prominent business leader from Ohio. In the past several years he's given millions of dollars to his alma mater, the University of Dubuque. His next mission is to bring minor league baseball to Dubuque. "The challenge we have right now is not building a stadium, it's finding a team we can move to Dubuque that's part of the Midwest league."

He checked and says there are currently no teams in that league for sale.
That would seem to be a rather large stumbling block.
He's also checking out teams in the Pioneer League.
Pioneer League? Really? I'm going to guess that they meant to say Frontier League. Because the Helena, Montana to Dubuque, Iowa road trip will be fantastic for the Pioneer League.

Also...and again...this would seem to be a pretty important fact.
You might remember that in 2003, Dubuque voters turned down a tax levy to build a minor league stadium. Chlapaty says, under his plan, private funding would pay for everything.

The Battle Creek franchise was the one that was supposed to move into that stadium. The levy was turned down and the Battle Cats/Yankees/Devil Rays are now in Midland, Michigan.

Look I really don't want to be this demotivational poster and I would be happy to make a journey to Dubuque for a Midwest League game, but unless there are two new expansion teams in the works for major league baseball and that creates a need for two more Class-A teams, I'll check back in a few years to see if this has made any progress.

4 comments:

KL Snow said...

You don't think Beloit is a candidate? Last I've heard, they've got no plans to build a new stadium...

Chris said...

Kyle,

I don't think that Beloit is a candidate. Nor do I believe that Beloit will be candidate as long as the Midwest League offices and the Midwest League president is based in Beloit.

Yes, there have been some stories on how tough times are in Southern Wisconsin, but the Snappers have done pretty well over the last few seasons and there is not as much overhead.

Pohlman Field is not one of my favorite stadiums in the league, but I always enjoy going there to see how there front office is making a go of it.

As for a new stadium down there, there are always plans. It's just a matter of how much $$ and where they are going to put it.

Don't give up on the Snappers.

KL Snow said...

If that won't work, then how about this far-fetched scenario?

The Midwest League is about to add a team in Bowling Green, KY, which is over 600 miles from Appleton and really far from pretty much every other MWL city. I think their shortest road trip will be to Dayton, roughly 260 miles.

Meanwhile, the Huntsville Stars play in the North Division of the Southern League (AA), against three teams in Tennessee that are all closer to Bowling Green than any MWL team. Huntsville's attendance is the lowest in the Southern League and their ballpark is not new. Gord Ash has already suggested the team may move.

So what if the team currently in Bowling Green moves to Dubuque, where they'd be one more short road trip for half a dozen MWL teams, and Huntsville moves to Bowling Green, where they'd get a new stadium and an improved fan base?

I think it's win-win.

Chris said...

Far-fetched is pretty accurate, Kyle.

Bowling Green just built their new stadium and they are playing in the SAL. The stadium meets Class-A specifications.

They would need to upgrade their facility to meet the specs for Double-A. Don't ask me what they are right now, I don't have that in front of me.

The new MWL schedule in the works will take care of the distance of the travel by cutting down on the number of times a Interdivision games.

Plus, if Dubuque does go into the league you would wind up with an 9-7 split with West vs. East. Unless, you can have Kane County go to the Eastern Division.

To paraphrase a great philosopher: That ain't happening. And...the corollary: Midwest League Baseball in Dubuque ain't happening any time soon.

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