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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Minor League Parks, Stripped of America’s Pastime, Await New Fates

In December, Major League Baseball completed a long-anticipated overhaul of its farm system, stripping 40 municipalities of minor league affiliations. Those cities were left with finding other baseball options or exploring a long-term solution through redevelopment.  Stadium face-lifts are often expensive — around $5 million for large-scale renovations. Even demolition can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. City officials in Huntsville, Ala., for example, estimated that tearing down their ballpark would cost $800,000.  Most abandoned ballparks have temporarily joined summer leagues serving college prospects or independent leagues, said Kevin Reichard, the editor of Ballpark Digest, a website devoted to news about baseball stadiums…

Building such facilities does not come without risk. When Major League Baseball reshaped the minor leagues, teams became locked into affiliations for only 10 years, seemingly giving minor league teams that were left out a window to refurbish their stadiums in case an availability opened up a decade later. 
The 10-year deals could also give major league clubs leverage to demand more upgrades from current partners. Major League Baseball has already ordered the minor league team in Eugene, Ore., to build a new stadium or the franchise will be relocated by 2025.  Community leaders in Lancaster, Calif., which lost the Class A Lancaster Jethawks after 25 years, are less keen on jumping through such hoops.

NattyBoh Posted: August 31, 2021 at 03:55 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, rob manfred's dumb ideas, stadium renovations, stadiums



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