The Business Front

Stories Making Headlines Around the Minors . . .

We’ve been up to our elbows in pre-draft coverage the past two days at Baseball America but we’re back to business as usual here at the biz blog, with plenty of news to update.

Harrisburg sells Senators to an Illinois partnership led by Michael Reinsdorf, son of of White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, for $13.25 million and includes a provision to keep the team in town for 29 years.

• Harrisburg Mayor Stephen Reed turned a nice profit on the sale.

Time Warner’s sale of the Braves to Liberty Media is finally complete and the transaction values the team at $450 million.

• Ticket sales for the Staten Island Yankees (New York-Penn) are way up, which brings up one important question: Where will the fans park?

• The proposed sale of low Class A Quad Cities (Midwest) to be reviewed by league officials next week.

Tickets are going fast for Roger Clemens’ minor league debut in Tampa. The Tampa Bay Business Journal reports that Legends Field has already sold 5,700 tickets and that ESPN plans to carry the game live.

A Triple-A affiliate coming to Reno is nearing reality after the Washoe County commissioners approved a pre-development and finance agreement with SK Baseball and Nevada Land for the design and construction of a stadium.

• The drought in Florida has forced teams to put fireworks displays on the shelf, and high Class A Fort Myers has come up with a creative substitution: frickin’ lasers. The team is replacing fireworks night following a May 26 game with a laser-light show.

• Fans have been packing the ballpark to see the Devil Rays . . . in Orlando.

• Don’t think Milwaukee is hungry for a winner? Brewers ticket and merchandise sales figures might sway you.

• Morning Call columnist Gordie Jones discovers that most everything is for sale in the minor leagues. Latest proof: Future Yankees Triple-A affiliate Lehigh Valley has a sponsor for rehabilitation assignments. Ah, those pesky IronPigs.

• A rare feature story focusing on a head groundskeeper, Altoona’s Patrick Coakley, who helped the team win the 2006 professional baseball field of the year award.

• Former Dodgers first baseman Mike Marshall will be pulling double-duty for independent Yuma (Golden). The team manager has was recently named president.

• Everett may become the minor league sports capital of the country. In addition to hosting the Mariners’ Northwest League affiliate, the Seattle suburb already has four other minor league sport teams and a local entertainment executive may have plans to add two more.