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View Full Version : Single A ball is coming to Bowling Green, KY, Reds Affiliate?



Jharb74
06-03-2007, 10:52 PM
Next season Bowling Green, Ky, will be getting a Single A ballclub. The owner of the New Hampshire Fishercats (AA) will be bringing an expansion team or a moved team. There's been some interesting speculation, here locally, in an almost X-files type way, of the new teams affiliation. I thought I'd post some of the things I've heard at water coolers and let everyone discuss.

Some have said since the Reds are probably severing ties with Sarasota for spring training, therefore they would probaly lose their high A team there too. Thus making Dayton the new high A team, since they are probably one of the largest towns to have an A team, let alone a low A team. My argument would be that Dayton is in the Midwest league, and all their teams are low A, so they'd have to go elsewhere, which probably won't happen.

Bowling Green has just started playing all Reds games on their AM station, in a primarily Cardinals fan town. Even though BG is only 3 hours from Cincy. This may just be a coinsidence. (Insert X-files here)

Ballparkwatch.com has reported that the new team will probably be in the South Atlantic league. They've also said that the Hagerstown Suns are having trouble with their current ownership/ stadium deal for some time so they'd be likely to move.

Ballparkwatch.com has also stated that more and more teams are changing affiliations due to geography. Such as they say that the Columbus Clippers will probably end up being a Cleveland AAA affiliate soon.

Just some food for thought. I'd of course love to see a Reds affiliate down here, but as I said this is just stuff I've heard at water coolers, and don't put much stock in it, but figured it was a way to get a conversation started on here.

SandyD
06-03-2007, 11:06 PM
The high-A leagues are the Florida State League, the Carolina League, and the California League.

Dayton and Bowling Green aren't really likely to land in any of those leagues.

jmcclain19
06-03-2007, 11:07 PM
I really doubt Dayton would ever move to High A.

The three High A leagues are the Cal League, the Carolina League and the Florida State League - all of which aren't even close to matching up geographically with Dayton.

I could see Bowling Green joining up with the Carolina League, it's a stretch but not as far as seeing Dayton move there.

EDIT - I see Sandy made the same point I did.

IslandRed
06-03-2007, 11:07 PM
The Reds like having their High-A team in the FSL, right there with their spring training operations. If they move from Sarasota and stay in Florida, their FSL affiliate will probably move with them.

Dayton is a bad geographic fit for High-A. There's nothing close.

jmcclain19
06-03-2007, 11:11 PM
I would definitely say that if the Reds move to Arizona, they would move back to having a team in the Cal League - a la - Stockton a few years ago.

They'd also shift from the GCL to the AZL for Rookie Ball. But that's really the only move I'd see in the future. Chattanooga & Billings have been Reds franchises for seemingly forever, and Louisville makes more sense to the Reds than Columbus does. Dayton is a perfect club for the Reds as well (half the distance than to Columbus) as a natural geographic extension, and their attendance means that the Reds would be stupid to give that up.

Jharb74
06-03-2007, 11:14 PM
I could see Bowling Green joining up with the Carolina League, it's a stretch but not as far as seeing Dayton move there.


Yeah, it's funny how geography doesn't always play a role in it. The Nashville Sounds and Memphis Redbirds are in the Pacific Coast League (AAA). I'm sure they love the long trips to play the Portland Beavers and Fresno Grizzlies.

Joseph
06-03-2007, 11:18 PM
I've heard this same thing from local sports writers. I live in Bowling Green [essentially] and I'm very excited and hopeful that this is a true rumor.

SandyD
06-03-2007, 11:18 PM
Truthfully, Dayton fits better with the Eastern League (AA) than any high-A league.

SandyD
06-03-2007, 11:22 PM
Yeah, it's funny how geography doesn't always play a role in it. The Nashville Sounds and Memphis Redbirds are in the Pacific Coast League (AAA). I'm sure they love the long trips to play the Portland Beavers and Fresno Grizzlies.


There used to be 3-AAA leagues. The American Association was broken up after the 1997 season, and the teams split between the PCL and the IL.

Nashville, New Orleans, Iowa, Oklahoma City, Omaha joined the PCL. Bufflao, Louisville and Indianapolis joined the PCL.

Memphis was a PCL expansion team in the 1998 season.




Geography is more important in the A-leagues, because of travel expenses.

jmcclain19
06-03-2007, 11:29 PM
There used to be 3-AAA leagues. The American Association was broken up, and the teams split between the PCL and the IL.


And geography is more important in the A-leagues, because of travel expenses.

Yeah the all the leagues below AAA ball travel by bus, so Geography is a big factor.

In AAA they graduate to plane travel, so it matters much less.

SandyD
06-03-2007, 11:46 PM
A few years ago, there was a AA team in Shreveport -- Texas League. They played a 17-inning game ... or something close (ended after midnight) ... then rode the bus back to Shreveport (about 400 miles) and played a 14-inning game the next night. No off day.

Oh, and I've known a couple of PCL games postponed because the airline lost the visiting team's luggage ... which included their equipment.

Reds Freak
06-04-2007, 12:30 AM
In another affiliation rumor, I was speaking with a gentlemen who works for the Columbus Clippers and he said that they hoped to attract either the Reds or the Indians as their major league affiliation when they move into their new stadium in 2009. He noted that their contract with Washington ends that year and he believed that the Indians and Reds AAA affiliate contracts ended that year as well. Is this info correct? I don't know anything about the Reds contract with Louisville, but I would think Louisville would be a better location for the Reds...

Heath
06-04-2007, 01:04 AM
Truthfully, Dayton fits better with the Eastern League (AA) than any high-A league.

I've been informed by a couple of people in the Dragons front office is that Chattanooga will kick and scream if the Reds pulled their AA team from there.

I'd rather play Akron, Altoona, Erie, Reading, Binghamton etc. rather than head to Iowa.

Heath
06-04-2007, 01:07 AM
In another affiliation rumor, I was speaking with a gentlemen who works for the Columbus Clippers and he said that they hoped to attract either the Reds or the Indians as their major league affiliation when they move into their new stadium in 2009. He noted that their contract with Washington ends that year and he believed that the Indians and Reds AAA affiliate contracts ended that year as well. Is this info correct? I don't know anything about the Reds contract with Louisville, but I would think Louisville would be a better location for the Reds...

too many geographical possibities to name.

KronoRed
06-04-2007, 01:12 AM
Let the Indians have Columbus.

Jharb74
06-04-2007, 09:43 AM
I've been informed by a couple of people in the Dragons front office is that Chattanooga will kick and scream if the Reds pulled their AA team from there.

I'd rather play Akron, Altoona, Erie, Reading, Binghamton etc. rather than head to Iowa.

I agree, those teams you listed are closer and may make for better rivalries.
But the affiliate world is a cut throat business. Much like the big leagues, if you don't have a state of the art stadium that's less than 10 years old, you better be working on getting one. Unless you have a really old stadium that has a rich history like a Fenway or Wrigley.

Some teams get a new affiliate almost yearly. The Nashville Sounds have had a bunch just within the last 10 years. Of course they have an old run down stadium that will probably cause their death after this year.

Then again you could be like most of the Braves farm clubs, and name your team the Rome Braves, Richmond Braves, etc. So when the team changes affiliation you have to change your team name.

JaxRed
06-04-2007, 12:30 PM
In another affiliation rumor, I was speaking with a gentlemen who works for the Columbus Clippers and he said that they hoped to attract either the Reds or the Indians as their major league affiliation when they move into their new stadium in 2009. He noted that their contract with Washington ends that year and he believed that the Indians and Reds AAA affiliate contracts ended that year as well. Is this info correct? I don't know anything about the Reds contract with Louisville, but I would think Louisville would be a better location for the Reds...

Contracts are for 2 year increments and they expire after even years. That is why there was a flury of activity after 2006. But the Bats and Reds signed up for 4 years. Their contract runs thru 2010.

JaxRed
06-04-2007, 12:33 PM
I've been informed by a couple of people in the Dragons front office is that Chattanooga will kick and scream if the Reds pulled their AA team from there.

I'd rather play Akron, Altoona, Erie, Reading, Binghamton etc. rather than head to Iowa.

You got some bad info. Chattanooga wanted to end their affiliation after 2006. Castellini himself had to go to Chattanooga and convince them to stay with Reds. And that whatever percieved issues they had would be solved.

Joseph
06-04-2007, 12:35 PM
You got some bad info. Chattanooga wanted to end their affiliation after 2006. Castellini himself had to go to Chattanooga and convince them to stay with Reds. And that whatever percieved issues they had would be solved.

Maybe there is truth that Dayton will move up to AA and Bowling Green then becomes low A?

JaxRed
06-04-2007, 12:36 PM
Reds are already making overtures to Vero Beach should the Sarasota deal falll apart. Doesn't mean it will come to fruition.

But Reds now own the Sarasota High A team, so they could just move it to Vero Beach. The current VB team (Devil Rays) moves after this season

JaxRed
06-04-2007, 12:41 PM
Maybe there is truth that Dayton will move up to AA and Bowling Green then becomes low A?

No. Just doesn't fit for wide variety of reasons. If Chattanooga decides to dump Reds (and very well may not happen, Castellini likes stability), then the mostly likely spot for Reds may be Jacksonville. (Which is why I follow this closely).

Jacksonville AA team is affiliated with Dodgers, and they are moving their farm teams out west. Vero Beach and Columbus, Ga ended in 2006. Spring Training leaves after 2008. Only Jacksonville is left.

So Dodgers probbaly go to Texas league, leaving Jax open for Reds who would need new city.

Joseph
06-04-2007, 12:53 PM
So any insight into who the Bowling Green team may be an affiliate for? It's "known" it's an A ball team, everything else is just whisper and rumor.

Reds Freak
06-04-2007, 12:59 PM
Contracts are for 2 year increments and they expire after even years. That is why there was a flury of activity after 2006. But the Bats and Reds signed up for 4 years. Their contract runs thru 2010.

Thanks for the info Jax, I never knew that. Looks like Cleveland will be the target for Columbus which makes more sense.

Jharb74
06-04-2007, 01:23 PM
So any insight into who the Bowling Green team may be an affiliate for? It's "known" it's an A ball team, everything else is just whisper and rumor.

I guess we should just be happy that a team is actually coming to BG!

Joseph
06-04-2007, 01:31 PM
I guess we should just be happy that a team is actually coming to BG!

Thrilled to death that they are, but if it's a Reds affiliate I'll be signing up for the season ticket packages they have to sell. If it's not, then I won't. I don't think I can root for a Met's affiliate for example.

TC81190
06-04-2007, 03:02 PM
Surprised that Chattanooga would end its Reds affiliation, its been the Reds' for years. Although Dayton as the AA club and Bowling Green would make more sense to me.

M2
06-04-2007, 03:47 PM
If Bowling Green were in eastern Kentucky it might work in the Carolina League, but since it's not, high A doesn't look like a good fit.

In a perfect world it would be nice if the Reds could own both Louisville and Columbus, though I suppose shifting down to AA wouldn't appeal to either of those clubs.

SandyD
06-04-2007, 10:36 PM
If BG is getting a new team, there must be another SAL team folding. Any idea which that might be, and who it's affiliated with?

Jharb74
06-05-2007, 09:50 AM
If BG is getting a new team, there must be another SAL team folding. Any idea which that might be, and who it's affiliated with?
Word on the street is that it's the Hagerstown Suns. Ballparkwatch has reported that they are having trouble coming to terms on a new ballpark and have a current run down one.
Again, this is all water cooler talk in Southwest, KY.

Oh, and they are a Nationals affiliate.

MrsHammer
06-06-2007, 11:54 AM
I also live in southcentral Ky and would be thrilled to have minor league baseball here. However, I'm not convinced this is a done deal yet....it is my understanding (from local media) that the whole downtown redevelopment project isn't set in stone yet. I think the group that wants to bring the team to town still has to present a detailed, completed development plan to the city by the end of this month. That would include financing details, solid contractor agreements, and realistic timeline for all projects involved (which not only include a ballpark, but several other projects as well). After following how the Nashville Sounds project basically collapsed at that point in their plans, I won't hold my breath until everything has been signed on the dotted line.

I also read that Mr. Solomon (who is the person that would own the team) had to extend his option to purchase the team by 30 days because the plans here weren't final yet. I think he has until the end of June now to exercise that option. That leads me to believe that he wasn't confident enough of the plans at the original deadline to go ahead and make the purchase. However, assuming that everything does fall into place, I'm leaning toward thinking that moving the Hagerstown Suns is the most plausible of the rumors floating around. They are already in the South Atlantic League, have a crappy stadium with no apparent plans to get a new one, and Mr. Solomon's current business dealings are all focused in the that general area of the country, which could make sense that he would have the option on that particular team. Granted, the Nationals aren't the closest major league team to this area, but it is still not implausible from a geographical standpoint.

I'm very curious to see how things pan out.

Joseph
06-06-2007, 12:18 PM
Pretty much my take too Mrs Hammer. My wife works for the city here [no she doesn't have any inside info, believe me lol] and thats pretty much how it stands.

The city has agreed to a tax increase to fun a stadium, new park [not baseball park, but with swings and fountains and stuff] and some other development in the area.

So, we shall see.

Jharb74
06-06-2007, 12:51 PM
Yeah, a lot of it is still up in the air. Although the town officials would have you thnk it's 100%.

Back in 04 BG tried to do a drive to get minor league ball here, and needed something like 2,000 season ticket sales, and only sold around 1,200. Of course they made you sign up for a 5 year plan, and for the first year the team would play at Western KY University's small stadium. So I can see why it failed.

BG has had huge problems recently with government officials embezeling millions of $'s. Not to mention a new $800k skateboard park that is in trouble. And a Transpark that will soon be like Flint Michigan, from a Michael Moore movie.

It's pretty much like a modern day version of The Music Man. Or for those of you that are younger, that Simpsons episode where the guy comes to town to swindle them into a monorail.

Heath
06-06-2007, 10:30 PM
You got some bad info. Chattanooga wanted to end their affiliation after 2006. Castellini himself had to go to Chattanooga and convince them to stay with Reds. And that whatever percieved issues they had would be solved.

Yep, must have since Bob Murphy, president of the Dayton Dragons took the time to answer my questions during a Dragons game and that was his answer. Same thing when Mike Vanderwood, the Dragons director of broadcasting told me what I had presented earlier about Chattanooga wanting to stay with the Reds.

Geographically, it makes more sense for the Reds to have a AA Eastern League team than a Southern League team. Geographically speaking only.

Personally I'd rather have a AA in Dayton than a low-A team.

But, I've been in Joseph's shoes before, and giddy's a great word for it.

Jpup
06-07-2007, 03:59 AM
I live in Glasgow which is a 1/2 hour from Bowling Green. Joseph, I didn't realize we were this close. We need to grab a beer sometime. :thumbup: Also, whoever said that BG is 3 hours from Cincinnati must drive really, really fast. From Cave City, it's 3 hours driving 75 mph.

As far as the minor league team, I haven't heard that, but I haven't really kept up with anything like that since the previous plan was scrapped. I would love it. I might even buy season tickets if the plans are solid.

Joseph
06-07-2007, 11:59 AM
I live in Glasgow which is a 1/2 hour from Bowling Green. Joseph, I didn't realize we were this close. We need to grab a beer sometime. :thumbup: Also, whoever said that BG is 3 hours from Cincinnati must drive really, really fast. From Cave City, it's 3 hours driving 75 mph.

As far as the minor league team, I haven't heard that, but I haven't really kept up with anything like that since the previous plan was scrapped. I would love it. I might even buy season tickets if the plans are solid.

Sounds great pal. I actually live in Allen County, but work in BG, so I never actually go into Scottsville. :)

We usually make it from where we are to the 'nati in about 3:15 or so. Yes I speed a little.

As I understand it though, this is just a continuation of the previous plan, just updated and such, but I could be wrong.

Jharb74
06-12-2007, 06:28 PM
Here's an update from Ballparkwatch.com.
By the way, the logo they have next to this little blurb is the South Atlantic League.

Baseball back on Bowling Green agenda NEW!
Posted June 12, 2007
Tonight Bowling Green city commissioners will decide whether to fund a new downtown ballpark for a Low Class A Sally League team. The team would be supplied by current New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Class AA; Eastern League) owner Art Solomon. Glasgow-based developer Alliance Corp. plans a variety of commercial and residential redevelopment for downtown, including a parking garage, hotel and the ballpark. The city and Alliance currently have a memorandum of understanding saying they'll work toward such an agreement. The tax increment district would send back to the developer part of the future increase in tax revenues from the area generated by the redevelopment.

Joseph
06-13-2007, 03:31 PM
For those interested in this, the city approved 251 million in development funding including 115 million for the ballpark, parking, the circus square, and some other related projects.

Looks like we may be getting close!

Jharb74
06-13-2007, 03:46 PM
Yeah, it did go through!
What's sad is it seems like it's taking forever.

Let's have a vote to see if we need to keep pursuing this, see ya in a month. Once that month is up, repeat above sentence.

Yet a man can buy an NHL team in Nashville and move it to Canada within days.

From the BG paper today:
Bowling Green city commissioners wrestled with two contentious and high-profile issues last night, deciding unanimously to sign a contract to redevelop part of downtown and areas adjacent to Western Kentucky University, and informally allocating more than $2.1 million to 23 nonprofit agencies or programs.

Rick Kelley, chairman of the Play Ball! '05 committee, showed commissioners a map sketching a long redevelopment area, with a narrow line between Center and Kentucky streets connecting bulges on each end. On one of the roughly seven central downtown blocks at the northeast end of the district, a minor league baseball stadium is planned. The other end covers several projects on and next to Western's campus. The total district covers about 44 acres, excluding public buildings, Kelley said.

Within that area, there are plans for $251 million in development, he said. Of that, $115 million would be public projects, including the ballpark, an 800-space parking garage, Circus Square Park and the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center, renovation of Van Meter Auditorium and construction of two parking lots for Western.

IslandRed
06-13-2007, 04:12 PM
Yet a man can buy an NHL team in Nashville and move it to Canada within days.

Not really the subject of the thread, but that's a long way from being a done deal.

OesterPoster
06-13-2007, 05:20 PM
This whole minor league team in BG is interesting, as I travel to BG on business at least once a year. It'd be nice to have something to do in the evening, other than saddling up to the bar at Outback.

Joseph
06-13-2007, 05:24 PM
This whole minor league team in BG is interesting, as I travel to BG on business at least once a year. It'd be nice to have something to do in the evening, other than saddling up to the bar at Outback.

If not for the fact you are a Buckeyes fan I'd take you to some local bars, but that kills the deal. :p: ;)

Kidding of course. I'm pretty excited to have something to do of that nature here. I hope its a Reds affiliate still.

Jharb74
06-13-2007, 05:30 PM
Not really the subject of the thread, but that's a long way from being a done deal.

Very true. Just a little rant, that I tossed in there since I had just read some more info on that today.

Zippy McGee
06-14-2007, 02:54 AM
I don't know anything about Bowling Green getting a team but I do know that Dayton is going no where and will remain the low a affiliate of the Reds. Dayton can't move or switch leagues without the Reds approval. They are in the Reds "territory" as established by Major League and Minor League Baseball, which is why Dayton didn't have professional baseball from 1949 to 1999 until the Reds finally gave approval to have a team there. So the Reds would have to ok any move regarding the Dayton franchise, they (Dayton) could not just decide to switch affiliates or leagues.

Secondly a Dayton franchise move to AA would not be approved (at least not to the Eastern League). Mandalay, who owns Dayton, also owns the AA Erie Sea Wolves who currently play in the Eastern League so there cannot be duel ownership of clubs in the same league and there is no way that Mandalay is selling Dayton, so AA talk for Dayton is a moot point as is a low A affialiate of the Reds in Bowling Green, KY.

Also, the Hagerstown team that has been mentioned (in a few posts) in regards to a potential move is also owned by Mandalay, so if that were to move, it would cost the New Hampshire group plenty of $$. Based on what they have done in Dayton and elsewhere, they won't give anything away. Plus all of this speculation just has to add value to the Hagerstown franchise if it is for sale. If you look at Mandalay's track record..... Dayton and Frisco,TX (moving from Rockford, IL and Shreveport, LA) they buy teams to either restructure them or to move them themselves not to sell off to other groups.

Zippy McGee
06-14-2007, 01:32 PM
Yep, must have since Bob Murphy, president of the Dayton Dragons took the time to answer my questions during a Dragons game and that was his answer. Same thing when Mike Vanderwood, the Dragons director of broadcasting told me what I had presented earlier about Chattanooga wanting to stay with the Reds.

Geographically, it makes more sense for the Reds to have a AA Eastern League team than a Southern League team. Geographically speaking only.

Personally I'd rather have a AA in Dayton than a low-A team.

But, I've been in Joseph's shoes before, and giddy's a great word for it.

It sounds like you got the "company line" more than bad info. I doubt that anyone from one Reds affiliate would pass along information that would be unfavorable about another one. At least you would hope that would be the case.

JaxRed
07-11-2007, 03:20 PM
Here's the article about how Castellini had to visit Chattanooga and smooth things out to keep Lookouts in the fold.

"The Chattanooga Lookouts will remain dressed in red.

Lookouts owner Frank Burke signed a two-year player development contract extension Wednesday afternoon with the Cincinnati Reds through the 2008 season. Burke had planned on waiting until September before renewing or choosing a different parent club, but he started changing his mind last Thursday when new Reds owner Bob Castellini led a contingent to BellSouth Park.

Chattanooga has been Cincinnati’s Class AA affiliate since 1988.
"Bob Castellini is the reason we are doing this," Burke said. "When we met last week, I told him that we felt like we had been taken for granted, and that I didn’t care for that feeling. I told him there has been so much chaos over the last few years with all the changes that have gone on, and that I just didn’t feel like we were part of the Reds organization.

"I told him that I want to feel like we’re a part of what they do, and he certainly made me feel that way, and I think that will continue."

New Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky and new Reds director of player development Johnny Almaraz accompanied Castellini to Chattanooga last week. Almaraz returned Wednesday afternoon with the player development contract. "This was extremely important to the organization," Almaraz said. "To me, Chattanooga is synonymous with the Cincinnati Reds. I remember getting drafted by the Reds in 1988, and I remember Chattanooga being the place to come and play. It’s kind of setting you up to play at the major league level. It’s like our back door, and it’s always been that way.
"It’s a great place with a great facility, and they’ve got a great owner who’s been very cooperative with Cincinnati and has also extended his hands out to players in times of need."

Castellini said he was delighted by the deal and is ready to continue the "tremendous relationship with Frank Burke and the Lookouts."

Chattanooga and Cincinnati are currently in the last year of a four-year contract that was signed March 29, 2002. Burke, who has worked with three Reds general managers and six Reds farm directors since taking over the Lookouts in 1995, had the option of signing another four-year deal but chose the shorter term.

"I thought that we ought to start with a two since it is all new," he said. "That will give us both time to make sure we both live up to what we said we were going to do."

Almaraz said the length of the extension is not relevant. "We’re extremely happy with the two-year extension," Almaraz said. "I plan to be here for a few more years, and hopefully we can continue this relationship, and I’m sure that we will. We’re going to do everything that we can to help Chattanooga, and we’re going to listen to Frank Burke. He’s a big part of the organization."

The 19-year partnership with Chattanooga is Cincinnati’s longest among its four full-season affiliates. The Reading, Pa., Phillies have been affiliated with Philadelphia since 1967, which is the longest pairing involving a Double-A team.

Chattanooga won the Southern League title in its first year with Cincinnati but hasn’t since. The Lookouts had the best regular-season record (87-53) among Double-A teams two years ago but bottomed out last season at 53-83.

The Lookouts lead the North Division this season, one that began with Baseball America ranking Cincinnati’s minor league system last among the 30 big-league teams.

"This hasn’t been about the winning or losing," Burke said. "It’s been about the chaos. Castellini is one of the more driven people I’ve ever met, and they are determined to turn this thing around from top to bottom. "There are worse places to attach our star to and, for the most part, the Reds have been relatively fair to us over time. They feel strongly about being here."

Cincinnati has played three exhibition games at BellSouth since 2000 but none since 2004. Burke requested an exhibition before this season but never heard back from Reds officials. When Castellini visited last week, Burke said the two discussed the possibility.

"We’re not allowed to tie it to an agreement, nor would I ever do that," Burke said. "I just said we want to be considered, and that it’s a tremendous event for Chattanooga. It’s a tremendous event for us, and we’ve gotten better at it each time."
____________________________________________

Interesting that Lookouts complaints seem to be centered on organizational choas and lack of exhibition games.

Now, Almarez who appears to have been major player in this is gone, a manager is fired, and there was no exihibition game this year.

Jharb74
07-15-2007, 10:15 PM
Here's a new update from BG's paper today. I'll just put part of it, it's a long and boring article.
On a side note, it will take a miracle for a team to be here next year, unless they play at Western KY's stadium. I drove by the proposed site, the other day, and unless they can bulldoze a handful of buildings, soon, it won't happen.

...The downtown pieces include a minor-league baseball stadium on one block, for which investor Art Solomon has pledged to buy a major-league-affiliated team to locate in Bowling Green for at least 20 years, with local investors having first option to buy the team after that; at least one upscale hotel, with a small nearby conference center; an 800-space parking garage; and a variety of unspecified shops, restaurants, apartments, condominiums and offices. On Western's end, the agreement includes renovation of Van Meter Auditorium and construction of two parking lots, with a recently announced private development called The Boulevards at Bowling Green possibly sharing in TIF funding.

The city's deal with Alliance calls for the sale of $100 million in bonds to help build many of the planned projects. It specifies that 80 percent of the eligible money from future tax revenue will go to help pay off those bonds, with about 85 percent of that tax money coming from what would otherwise have gone to the state.

The county would be committing 80 percent of its future revenues within that area to the project, Kelley said.

Jharb74
07-17-2007, 06:26 PM
Yet another update....
I actually wrote Art Solomon (The NH Fishercats Owner moving a team to BG) about 2 months ago. He just wrote me back.
He didn't divulge too much as to what team would be moving or the affiliation but I found it interesting.
As a reference I characterized BG as a town that I originally thought of as a hillbilly/ moonshine town, being from Ohio originally. I told him that I was very wrong and it's a great town to raise a family, hence his comment...

Hi (Insert My Real Name Here):

Iíve been traveling on business recently so this is my first opportunity to respond to your e-mail. Thanks for taking the time to write.

Weíre extremely excited about bringing a minor league team to Bowling Green. Now that Iíve visited several times I agree with your characterization of the area. Our plan is to bring affordable family-oriented baseball/entertainment and a huge commitment to the community.

Because the process of relocating a minor league team and building a new stadium takes time, our current plan is to have everything ready by the 2009 season. Best wishes in the meantime.

Art Solomon


--
Arthur Solomon
781-250-5910

Joseph
07-17-2007, 06:30 PM
Thanks for that note Jharb.

Mario-Rijo
07-17-2007, 07:04 PM
Could the affiliation be the SaraReds High A team? It seems that situation is becoming somewhat sticky down in Sarasota.

Jharb74
07-26-2007, 09:41 AM
Update:
Some people have told me that local radio stations (local radio is the reason I have XM!) are reporting that BG is getting the Columbus Catfish. Their lease is up with their current stadium after the 2008 season. As is their contract with Tampa Bay Devil Rays. So it's anyones guess as to what team will be affiliated with the new BG team.
Of course no one is officially saying that the Columbus Catfish are going, since they need to sell tickets for another season.

I did find this article from a Columbus (GA) reporter that did some investigating.

http://www.topix.net/content/kri/2007/07/catfish-muddy-the-waters

Jharb74
10-17-2007, 02:02 PM
Update:

This was posted today. Looks like by Oct. 22nd they'll know something and may make it public knowledge....

"They're being very confidential in terms of the name of the team they'd be bringing to Bowling Green, but it's my understanding the owner, Art Solomon, has an option that he's hoping to exercise October 22nd," Mayer Walker added.


http://www.wbko.com/news/headlines/10585797.html

Joseph
10-17-2007, 03:07 PM
Good information there. Thanks.

Joseph
02-09-2008, 10:39 PM
The Bowling Green city council/commission voted to approve 25 million in a city bond to help finance the team after the prospective team owner said he had to have an agreement by February 5th.

Felt a little like being held hostage to be told forever the developers were footing the bill, then to be told its was 25 million or they were walking.

Still, its on as of now. Mayor Walker has said thats it though, no more money.

Jharb74
02-10-2008, 02:54 PM
According to today's paper (2/10/08) the deal is now finalized, and will be the Columbus Catfish (GA) moving to Bowling Green to start in 2009. I'm sure this will help with attendace for the very last season in Columbus, GA. (insert sarcasm here)

Much like most local (printed) newspapers, we've pretty much known this for some time now, from the internet. So it's just the official word. Right now they are a Tampa Bay affiliate, but their affiliation is up after this season.
Local grumblings say it may still be the Reds, or Phillies. Don't shoot the messenger on that last line, I'm not up on the affiliation contracts.

I did drive by the proposed site of the new stadium today. There are still buildings and a lot of land to be moved. Good luck to the contractors having it ready by April 2009. The first game people may be sitting on piles of dirt.

TC81190
02-10-2008, 03:13 PM
Could the Sarasota Reds become the Bowling Green team? Or are there league affiliations preventing that from happening?

mth123
02-10-2008, 03:29 PM
Could the Sarasota Reds become the Bowling Green team? Or are there league affiliations preventing that from happening?

This team is low A just like Dayton. It would be tough to get them in High A. Currently they are affiliated with Tampa Bay.

Joseph
02-10-2008, 04:41 PM
That site is nothing to be concerned with at all. My wife works two blocks from there so I go by it all the time. I wouldn't be surprised to see it razed by early april.

Word i still get is it will be the reds low A affiliate. Don't know how that works with Dayton, if they'll move up or what, but....we'll see.

redsmetz
02-10-2008, 05:21 PM
I haven't followed this thread much at all, but I wonder whether it's not possible that we'll add a third Single A club added. If so, maybe another club will also add another Single A club and they'll both go into the South Atlantic League, the league where Lexington plays. A number of clubs carry three Single A teams. I guess it's possible too that since we're leaving Sarasota, that we'll pull out of the Fla. State League and put a Rookie club in Bowling Green in the Appalachian League which only has nine teams presently.

But if the Reds are really interested in furthering their development, I wonder if they shouldn't add a third Single A club like other ML teams have. I just don't see Dayton leaving - that's a very successful franchise.

dougdirt
02-10-2008, 05:22 PM
That site is nothing to be concerned with at all. My wife works two blocks from there so I go by it all the time. I wouldn't be surprised to see it razed by early april.

Word i still get is it will be the reds low A affiliate. Don't know how that works with Dayton, if they'll move up or what, but....we'll see.

I don't know how that would work, as Dayton would have to join the Carolina League, Florida State League or California League.... and they are nowhere near the other teams. I don't think that the Reds are going to leave Dayton given the success of the team (in terms of fan following, it doesn't get any better).

HBP
02-10-2008, 08:27 PM
I'm a BG resident as well Joseph, thanks for the updates. This will be great if it does turn out to be a Reds affiliate as the city would be less interested in a Phillies team IMO.

MrsHammer
02-11-2008, 12:32 PM
I haven't followed this thread much at all, but I wonder whether it's not possible that we'll add a third Single A club added. If so, maybe another club will also add another Single A club and they'll both go into the South Atlantic League, the league where Lexington plays. A number of clubs carry three Single A teams. I guess it's possible too that since we're leaving Sarasota, that we'll pull out of the Fla. State League and put a Rookie club in Bowling Green in the Appalachian League which only has nine teams presently.

But if the Reds are really interested in furthering their development, I wonder if they shouldn't add a third Single A club like other ML teams have. I just don't see Dayton leaving - that's a very successful franchise.

It's my understanding that part of the agreement was that the team had to be a member of the Sally League. So, I don't think having the new team become a Rookie League team is an option.

redsmetz
02-11-2008, 12:42 PM
It's my understanding that part of the agreement was that the team had to be a member of the Sally League. So, I don't think having the new team become a Rookie League team is an option.

The Sally League would make the most sense - again I wonder if we're not contemplating adding a third Single A club - a number of other clubs have three Single A clubs.

Joseph
02-11-2008, 12:46 PM
Mrs Hammer is right, it is a Sally league team.

As mentioned before it IS the Columbus Catfish, currently of Tampa Bay Ray association that are being relocated to BG.

As for the Dayton situation, I don't know the logistics of change at all. I just know I keep hearing Reds from people in the 'know' about this stuff. Perhaps the notion of an additional Single A team is an option, I'm not sure the rules in relation to number of teams you can have.

I don't mean to scare any Dayton fans at all, as I do NOT see the Dayton situation changing considering how great it is for the Reds and Dragons.

JaxRed
02-11-2008, 01:28 PM
The Reds are part owners of the Dayton team. I'd be stunned if this Bowling Green team became affiliated with the Reds. Only way I could see it happening is if the Sally league was going to expand by 2 teams. Because if the Reds took over BG, the Rays need a team also.

The odds are far more likely, it will just be some other team.

Jharb74
02-11-2008, 01:57 PM
I just hope that BG will support a team in the long run. Reds affiliate or anyone else. I know I will. A lot of people are complaining, and there have been a few angry letters to the editor. It stems from the way local government has pretty much messed up a lot of "big ticket," items.

It should be a good indication as to some of the dates of this thread as to how long this has taken. Considering this was pretty much a done deal a long time ago. I just hope this Art Solomon guy isn't too cheesed off, with having to pay for all these extensions while local gov. had all of their exploritory findings.

camisadelgolf
02-11-2008, 02:28 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the Dayton Dragons is a middle-A team and not a low-A team. There are two low-A leagues, and the Reds don't have a team in other one. Maybe the Reds could add a third A-ball team.

There is already an Ohioan team in the New York-Penn League, a low-A league, but it's in East Ohio while Bowling Green is in West Ohio. I don't know if that would be too far away since more than half of the teams are based in New York.

Jharb74
02-11-2008, 02:40 PM
but it's in East Ohio while Bowling Green is in West Ohio.

psst...Bowling Green, Kentucky.

camisadelgolf
02-11-2008, 02:57 PM
psst...Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Hahaha. I really need to stop skimming so much.

Zippy McGee
02-11-2008, 05:32 PM
The Reds are part owners of the Dayton team. I'd be stunned if this Bowling Green team became affiliated with the Reds. Only way I could see it happening is if the Sally league was going to expand by 2 teams. Because if the Reds took over BG, the Rays need a team also.

The odds are far more likely, it will just be some other team.

The Reds are NOT part owners of the Dayton team. Never have been. I'm not sure how this could be any more simple. The Dragons and the Reds are going to stay affiliated.

As a resident of Dayton, I am hardly "scared" that Bowling Green is coming into exsistance. Great for them. I hope they are very sucessful. No chance they ever outdraw Dayton and 580,000 + people a season. So beleive me the Reds are not going to Bolwing Green. Not now, not ever.

The Dragons are not going to be a High A Team, a Double A tean or anything else. They are in the MWL and that is where they are going to stay. Unless Bowling Green joins the CAL League, The Carolina League or the Florida State League, they have ZERO chance of being a Reds affiliate.

I get that there are a bunch of Reds fans in Kentucky who would love to see the Reds get a presence down there. But you all need to plan a road trip to either Dayton or Chattanooga becuase that is as close as the Reds are going to get.

Zippy McGee
02-11-2008, 05:39 PM
The Sally League would make the most sense - again I wonder if we're not contemplating adding a third Single A club - a number of other clubs have three Single A clubs.

Forgot this agrument. There is not a single major league franchise that has three single A clubs. The two "single A" leagues are the Midwest League and the South Atlantic League. The New York Penn League and the Northwest League are "Short Season A" Leagues. Not the same thing. Major League Baseball has specifically prohibited teams from two full season A teams at the same level. No team has two MWL or Sally affiliations just as there are not two teams from the same franchise at the High A level (CAL, Carolina or Florida State). The Reds can't just "add" a third full A level team.

Joseph
02-11-2008, 05:43 PM
Zip, as I said. I have not heard word one about the Reds giving up Dayton. I have heard this Sally league team will be affiliated with them.

That doesn't make my information right.

Dayton could stay in the midwest league and be an A ball team for the reds and the Reds could dump Sarasota as an A ball team and add the BG team.

I dunno.

Then again neither do you. So there's no need to be so forceful.

If I want to see Reds minor league ball, I'll go to Louisville, its closer than Dayton or Chattanooga, at least until the BG team starts. ;)

Thats me making a joke, for the record.

redsmetz
02-12-2008, 11:29 AM
Forgot this agrument. There is not a single major league franchise that has three single A clubs. The two "single A" leagues are the Midwest League and the South Atlantic League. The New York Penn League and the Northwest League are "Short Season A" Leagues. Not the same thing. Major League Baseball has specifically prohibited teams from two full season A teams at the same level. No team has two MWL or Sally affiliations just as there are not two teams from the same franchise at the High A level (CAL, Carolina or Florida State). The Reds can't just "add" a third full A level team.

I had to go back and see why some of the ML clubs were showing three Single A clubs, and now I see there are a few "Short Season" Single leagues (New York Penn League and the Northwest League) and the clubs with three Single A clubs have teams in those short season leagues. So perhaps the suggestion that we're going to walk away completely from Sarasota (maybe Tampa Bay would take that slot?) and join the Sally League.

Whether we might ultimately put together a Short Season Single A club is another discussion for another day.

redsof72
02-12-2008, 12:31 PM
As far as Bowling Green, Zippy McGee is correct in everything he is saying. The only realistic way that Bowling Green could ever be a Reds affiliate is if a Carolina League franchise was relocated to Bowling Green. There is no chance that a South Atlantic League team could ever be a Reds affiliate as long as Dayton is in the Midwest League. Teams have only one Low-A affiliate and the Midwest League and South Atlantic League are both Low-A leagues. If the Columbus franchise in the South Atlantic League moves to Bowling Green, it could never be a Reds affiliate as long as Dayton is in the Midwest League.

Meanwhile, it is very difficult for any minor league club to change classifications (jump from Single-A to Double-A, for instance). Let's take a look at the Dayton-to-the-Eastern League example. Mandalay would have to purchase an existing Eastern League franchise and move it to Dayton. The Eastern League would have to approve the idea of stretching the outer beltline of the league further west, which would be highly questionable. Mandalay would still own the Midwest League franchise that had been located in Dayton, so they would have to find a new city to move that franchise. There are a lot of moving parts that would make this difficult, and most importantly, Mandalay would have to be convinced that there would be a financial benefit to doing all of this. Theoretically, depending on the lease in Erie, Mandalay could move their own Erie club to Dayton, which would put Dayton in the Eastern League. But again, then they would have to find a new Midwest League city with a ballpark to move the lame duck Midwest League franchise that had been in Dayton. And why would Mandalay do this? Are they going to draw anymore fans in Dayton if it is Double-A than they are already drawing?

Jharb74
02-12-2008, 01:40 PM
I've lived in Bowling Green, KY, for nearly 10 years now. I'm originally from the Dayton, OH area. As much as I'd love to see a Reds affiliate here, it probably won't happen.

It doesn't take a genious to know that the Dayton Dragons will never stop the cash cow they have going. The Dragons top the minors in attendance for their level, and sometimes surpas some AA, and AAA teams. Having been to a handful of games in Dayton, unless you want to sit on the grass, getting a ticket is like getting one to a Packers, or OSU football game...someone has to die.

I realize I started this thread, way back when, posing the Reds affiliate question. I was just going by what I had heard throughout the town and on local radio. So I posed the question, to get some conversation going, and it worked! There's hardly a day that goes by that I don't read ballparkwatch, where they post about all 1 million or so minor league teams.

Jharb74
03-13-2008, 06:15 PM
Since I refuse to let this thread die, here's a list of teams in Low A and their affiliations. Note what they say about Dayton.

City Affiliate Year
Asheville Rockies Signed through 2008
Augusta Giants Signed through 2008
Beloit Twins Signed through 2008
Burlington Royals Signed through 2010
Cedar Rapids Angels Signed through 2010
Charleston Yankees Signed through 2008
Clinton Rangers Signed through 2008
Columbus Rays Signed through 2008
Dayton Reds Signed in perpetuity
Delmarva Orioles Signed through 2010
Fort Wayne Padres Signed through 2008
Great Lakes Dodgers Signed through 2008
Greensboro Marlins Signed through 2008
Greenville Red Sox Signed through 2012
Hagerstown Nationals Signed through 2008
Hickory Pirates Signed through 2008
Kane County A's Signed through 2008
Kannapolis White Sox Signed through 2010
Lake County Indians Signed through 2010
Lakewood Phillies Signed through 2008
Lansing Blue Jays Signed through 2008
Lexington Astros Signed through 2008
Peoria Cubs Signed through 2012
Quad Cities Cards Signed through 2010
Savannah Mets Signed through 2008
South Bend D-Backs Signed through 2008
West Michigan Tigers Signed through 2010
West Virginia Brewers Signed through 2008
Wisconsin Mariners Signed through 2008

HBP
04-01-2008, 12:50 PM
Has there been any news about this recently?

RBA
04-01-2008, 01:15 PM
If the Reds jump back to California (if they do the Goodyear deal) I can help them scout a few cities. I would focus on Southern California and no more Stocktons/Modestos/Fresnos (YUK!). How about Newport Beach? Oceanside? Escondido? Acutally a high A team located in between Oceanside, Temecula, Carlsbad, and Escondido might work out nicely. The center city would be Vista, CA. Check out Vista, CA on the map and it's not to far from the other High A teams in SoCal and it's central to all those 4 growing cities. Build it and they will come.

Joseph
04-01-2008, 01:54 PM
Has there been any news about this recently?

The latest I know is that the city approved the bond and BG will be getting a team. No specifics on affiliation as yet, but the aforementioned team from Georgia will be relocated here.

Jharb74
04-01-2008, 03:44 PM
Joseph is correct. The only news is that Art Solomon has put in his request to buy the Columbus Catfish (GA) to MLB.

A few months back the local news posted a map of downtown and where the new stadium will go. I drove by there again this weekend. No progress at all. They have exactly a year to tear down some buildings and get a stadium in there.
My guess is they may have to play at Western, KY University for the first year.

Jharb74
04-01-2008, 03:49 PM
I did find a site that someone has done that has all the cut and pasted articles from the BG newspaper and the Columbus Herald-Ledger.

http://bgbarons.wordpress.com/

HBP
04-02-2008, 10:38 AM
Joseph is correct. The only news is that Art Solomon has put in his request to buy the Columbus Catfish (GA) to MLB.

A few months back the local news posted a map of downtown and where the new stadium will go. I drove by there again this weekend. No progress at all. They have exactly a year to tear down some buildings and get a stadium in there.
My guess is they may have to play at Western, KY University for the first year.

Agree, I don't see any way they could get a stadium built in a year if it hasn't already started.

Joseph
04-02-2008, 10:51 AM
Agree, I don't see any way they could get a stadium built in a year if it hasn't already started.

Small minor league stadiums are not hard to build.

The site it will be on is already graded out, meaning there will be minimal site work. Basically its ready to start at a moments notice [a little demo not withstanding] and the stadium could go up, honestly, in about 8 months, likely less. There isn't a lot of heavy infrastructure to be built thats complex.

smoke6
04-02-2008, 12:26 PM
How far is Bowling Green from Cincy? I know I've been through it, but I can remember much about it.

Joseph
04-02-2008, 01:11 PM
How far is Bowling Green from Cincy? I know I've been through it, but I can remember much about it.

Depends on how fast you drive, but I make it from BG to 'nati in about 3 and a quarter.

Jharb74
04-02-2008, 01:54 PM
The site it will be on is already graded out, meaning there will be minimal site work. Basically its ready to start at a moments notice [a little demo not withstanding] and the stadium could go up, honestly, in about 8 months, likely less. There isn't a lot of heavy infrastructure to be built thats complex.

Are we thinking of the same locale? At first I thought it was diagonal from State St. Pub and Ellis Place, but that's part of the Circus Square thing. I thought it was down from the police office and kinda near the Napa store/ Skate Park.

Joseph
04-02-2008, 02:00 PM
Its really near the BGMU office. I can't recall the street name, but I'll drive by at lunch if I can and find them out.

There is demo to be done, but speaking from a construction background, the site work there is nothing difficult at all. Its not like they have to build up a slope or level out a hill. Its all basically already flat.

I'm guessing the park will be minimal in terms of amenities, probably a brick or block construction, and really simple to get up in a short time.

If they get going.

HBP
04-02-2008, 02:39 PM
The BG people should visit the Dragons stadium for ideas. Obviously Dayton is a much bigger city but it would be great to have a park like that.

Jharb74
04-02-2008, 02:45 PM
From all of the 3-D designs I've seen on the local news, it has the stadium ,or field level, underground.
Here are some older pics...

Joseph
04-02-2008, 03:08 PM
I didn't get to make it downtown.

But as you can see from those pics, its a litlte brick and mortar, some seats and a fence around the whole thing. Not too complex at all.

Jharb74
04-02-2008, 03:35 PM
I found that it's going to be E. 8th Ave. and KY Street.

Joseph
04-02-2008, 03:45 PM
and BGMU is right there at 801 Center. So the stadium is diagonally across the street from BGMU if you know where that is. I thought thats what the wife had told me before.

redsof72
04-02-2008, 09:58 PM
For the fan that wondered about the Reds moving their high-A team to the California League, here is the way it works. There are 30 high-A franchises. There is no expansion to new cities. Existing franchises can be moved by their private owner to a new city with league approval and approval by MLB. If the Reds wanted to leave Sarasota, first thing they would have to do is sell the Sarasota franchise to a private owner (and that private owner could keep the franchise in Sarasota or try to find a new city in Florida to move the franchise--but it is always going to be a Florida State League franchise). The Reds would then need to find an existing franchise in the California League, Carolina League, or Florida State League that is available for affiliation (meaning whatever MLB team that was previously affiliating with that club is ending their affiliation). As far as the team moving to one of those California cities you mentioned, that would be up to the owner of the franchise. The Reds would not have anything to do with it. The Reds would be affiliating with the franchise, not the city or the ballpark. Hope that explains a bit about how the whole thing works.

Good luck to the Bowling Green folks. I am sure they will enjoy it, regardless of which team they land as their affiliate.

MrsHammer
04-08-2008, 12:01 PM
Just read that as of yesterday, the sale of the Columbus Catfish to Art Solomon was finalized. It was also reported that he has submitted the application for the team to be moved. So, looks like things are rolling along on that front. However, as some of my fellow Bowling Green residents have stated, absolutely nothing has been done to the site where the stadium is supposed to be built. Maybe I'll be surprised, but I can't imagine everything falling into place in time to open for the 2009 season. I'm hoping to be proved wrong though.

Jharb74
04-08-2008, 02:58 PM
I'm with you Mrs. Hammer. I hope to be wrong.
Here's a picture of the proposed stadium site. It's from a website, but as of this past weekend, the site has not changed.

Jharb74
05-07-2008, 09:41 AM
Mrs. Hammer posted a link on another thread showing pics of the new stadium. I did find this info that said there may be a switch to the Midwest League. The same division Dayton is in.


Planning for a new Bowling Green ballpark is moving right along, as the city's planning commission has approved initial plans submitted by DLR Group. The plans for a 4,000-seat ballpark feature a brick facade, 10 suites, party decks, and a 150-capacity club behind home plate. The cost of the new ballpark, expected to house the relocated Columbus Catfish (Low Class A; Sally League), is now set at $28 million, with revenues coming from the establishment of a $100-million TIF district in downtown Bowling Green. Speaking of Columbus: the buzz in minor-league circles is that MiLB officials have prepared a tentative schedule for 2009 that puts Bowling Green and the Lake County Captains in the Low Class A Midwest League. There's been talk about a shift of two teams from the Sally League to the Midwest League for some time now, and while it's certain no decision has been reached, the fact such a schedule is said to exist says there's more chance of a move than ever before. On the one hand, it's clear Eastlake really is a Midwest League territory, and Bowling Green would be the only team in the Sally League not in the Eastern time zone; on the flip side, there are some natural territorial rivalries (like Lexington vs. Bowling Green) neutered with a league move

Jharb74
06-04-2008, 09:58 AM
Well it's now 100% official. The groundbreaking is today on the new stadium. They also have a website up now.

http://www.bowlinggreenprobaseball.com/

Joseph
06-04-2008, 10:22 AM
I meant to get this info up last week when I got it. Sorry for the delay.

Should be exciting to watch progress.

Jharb74
06-05-2008, 02:02 PM
From today's news:

Solomon wouldnít say how much he paid for the Catfish. The team is affiliated with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, but that link ends at the end of this year, and Solomon said heís not sure which major league team will be linked to Bowling Greenís team next year.


Here's the whole article:
http://www.bgdailynews.com/articles/2008/06/05/news/news2.txt