Stories Making Headlines Around The Minors
• Folks in Reno are getting ready to celebrate, as relocating a Triple-A team to Northern Nevada took a big step forward when SK Baseball announced its plans to purchase Tucson. Toward the bottom of this article is information that stadium development talks in suburban Sparks as part of a major development are breaking down’"perhaps jeopardizing a 2009 start date since Sparks was further along in development than any other site. However PCL president Branch Rickey says “You can do anything with enough money.”
Reaction to the Sidewinders likely departure has been mixed in Tucson. While Tucson owner Jay Zucker has offered the Reno ownership group’"headed by Jerry and Stuart Katzoff’"a $1.5 million discount on the $15 million price tag. AZ Star columnist Greg Hansen says that money is just a drop in the bucket for the shopping mall/resort developers and if local government doesn’t get involved, the White Sox will soon be following the Sidewinders out of town to a more attractive spring training location.
Others in Tucson see the team’s departure as a blessing‘"the local government can make more money by increasing its concert schedule at Tucson Electric Park. In case you need more information, The Tucson Citizen pens a Q&A on what led up to the deal and what happens now.
• A deal is finalized to build a new stadium in Springdale’"with Northwest Arkansas (Double-A) agreeing to pick up the $1.4 million cost overrun while the city eliminated five luxury suites and two party decks from the original plans.
• “The Stars are going to have to do one of two things. They’re either going to have to move, or they’re going to have to get a new stadium. But I’m a citizen of Huntsville. Frankly, I don’t know if I’d vote for a new stadium or not because of the tax implications and so forth.” ‘" Not encouraging words from Southern League president Don Mincher on the future of Double-A Huntsville, which is dealing with sagging attendance and an outdated stadium.
• South Fenway? The Miami Herald does a nice profile of Sox low Class A affiliate Greenville and what it’s like to watch a game in the Fenway replica ballpark.
• The York Revolution opens its new ballpark tonight and plans to get a bit nostalgic in pregame ceremonies.
• Bluefield opens its 50th season as an Orioles affiliate and plans to ring in the anniversary in style.
• The city of Allentown passes legislation restricting the government from levying an amusement tax on professional baseball tickets’"a piece of legislation critical in attracting the IronPigs’"to the ire of a local official.
• Appy League’s Burlington drops its radio signal in favor of broadcasting games on the Internet’"a disappointment to several local stations.