Potential expansion notebook
Rumors continue to swirl about potential Atlantic League expansion, and the potential addition of a feeder league being introduced in the future, which for now has a working title of “ALPB2” according to Long Island Ducks CEO Frank Boulton. If that league should come to fruition, it would be introduced no earlier than 2014. Here are links with some of the latest news:
- It appears things are moving forward for a potential new Atlantic League franchise in Malden, Massachusetts. It would be the first league franchise located in that state, and would be as north as the league has gone since there was a franchise in Nashua, New Hampshire. Ballpark Digest is reporting on progress toward building a new ballpark in Malden.
- There are a handful of ballparks in the Northeast currently without tenants, (Sussex, NJ, Atlantic City, Worcester to name a few) that have been rumored to be candidates for the potential “ALPB2” feeder circuit, which would provide its best players to Atlantic League teams in a quasi-farm system. Perhaps such a league would play a shorter-season schedule Ala the Can-Am Association (100) games, or the Short-Season Class A leagues like the New York-Penn League or Northwest League, which only play a 76-game schedule from late June to early September, to accommodate players turning pro after their final collegiate season and younger players who spend April and May in extended spring training. Ballpark Digest is reporting on potential activity with Skylands Park in Sussex, with some interest from the Atlantic League. That facility has hosted the two aforementioned leagues; the departed New Jersey Cardinals of the New York-Penn League moved across the street from Beaver Stadium at Penn State after the 2005 season and became the State College Spikes in a new ballpark, and then the Sussex Skyhawks moved in, formerly of the Can-Am League. Similarly, Ballpark Digest is reporting the ballpark in Worcester may be in play after the 2013 season now that the Worcester Tornadoes of the Can-Am League are no longer on that circuit.
- In case you missed it this fall, here is York Daily Record Revolution beat reporter Jim Seip’s story on the plentiful expansion plans and options for the Atlantic League.
- Speaking of Jim Seip, on his Revolution blog, Revs’ Inside Pitch, he has some information on the Loudoun (VA) Hounds latest quest to join the Atlantic League. They’ve shifted the location of the ballpark site, and could potentially share the facility with a professional minor league soccer franchise. Their new target is for opening day 2014.
- No links to share here in the final bullet point, but it’s safe to say the Sugar Land Skeeters won’t be the only franchise in the league to call Texas home forever. Expansion options continue to be looked at in that part of the country.
Happy Holidays to all Revolution, Atlantic League and minor league baseball fans alike!