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Minor League Baseball Newsbeat

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Yard Goats’ Stalled Stadium Leaves Seasonal Workers In Limbo - Hartford Courant

A $63 million park project.

Yahaira Davila heard “we’ll call you soon” countless times from job interviewers who never called back.

She heard that phrase again in March inside the Wilson-Gray YMCA on Albany Avenue. That promise of a call came from the Hartford Yard Goats, the AA baseball team whose major selling point in this city was the jobs it would create.

The promise was made good when she was brought in for a second interview and walked out with a seasonal position as a member of Dunkin’ Donuts Park’s food-service team.

From the excitement that Davila felt at the news, an excitement still apparent months later, you’d think she’d been ask to strap on cleats and bat cleanup.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 21, 2016 at 09:10 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league baseball, stadium renovations

Monday, May 02, 2016

The Braves Play Taxpayers Better Than They Play Baseball

Over the last 15 years, the Braves have extracted nearly half a billion in public funds for four new homes, each bigger and more expensive than the last. The crown jewel, backed by $392 million in public funding, is a $722 million, 41,500-seat stadium for the major league club set to open next year in Cobb County, northwest of Atlanta. Before Cobb, the Braves built three minor league parks, working their way up the ladder from Single A to Triple A. In every case, they switched cities, pitting their new host against the old during negotiations. They showered attention on local officials unaccustomed to dealing with a big-league franchise and, in the end, left most of the cost on the public ledger. Says Joel Maxcy, a sports economist at Drexel University: “If there’s one thing the Braves know how to do, it’s how to get money out of taxpayers.”

The Atlanta Braves own most of their minor league farm system, including, along with a Double-A team, the Triple-A team in Gwinnett County, Ga.; the Single-A team in Rome, Ga.; and lower-level teams in Danville, Va., and Lake Buena Vista, Fla. It’s an unusual arrangement. Major League Baseball teams always manage their players at every level, but they usually leave the day-to-day operations of farm teams to independent owners. The Braves prefer more control. “We can create a seamless thread all the way through our system,” says Mike Plant, the team’s president of development. The teams are all named the Braves and wear near-identical uniforms. Even the “Tomahawk Chop” chant is the same from Atlanta to Rome. “We definitely extend that Braves brand through everything we do,” says Plant.

The Braves are similarly methodical about using other people’s money to build their ballparks. In 2001, for example, while trying to persuade Rome to build a $15 million, 5,105-seat stadium for the Single-A Braves, who then played 150 miles south in Macon, the Braves brought local officials to Turner Field for executive dinners and to watch games from the owner’s box. “It was hands down the highlight of my life,” then-Floyd County Manager Kevin Poe says. That November, Rome voters approved a 1¢ sales tax to pay for the stadium by a 142-vote margin.


Friday, January 22, 2016

PCL president admonishes LVCVA over crumbling Cashman Field | Las Vegas Review-Journal

You would think Vegas would know a suckers bet.

Eventually, the city leaders there would build a new ballpark where the old one had been. Albuquerque got its team back when the new owners in Calgary decided to play where it was warmer, in a new ballpark that had a climate-controlled batting cage and plenty of restrooms for spectators on Fireworks Night.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2016 at 08:49 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league baseball, stadium financing, stadium renovations

 

 

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