Would be very unfortunate for Kannapolis if they had their team eliminated immediately after finishing their stadium.
I would assume most aaa teams are safe, but the A and AA teams are not.
They have literally expanded all of the downtown area to surround and feature that ballpark and team. Just finished and have yet to be able to play 1 game in it yet.
Unfortunate is not be a strong enough word.
Devastating would be more appropriate.
Wouldn’t the more likely thing be cities that haven’t invested much of anything in their local team, regardless of level, be on the cutting block? Leaving teams like Kannapolis bumping up a level.
I think this was a major driving force for the new stadium in Kannapolis
I think Kannapolis is fine. I think the teams that are in trouble are Teams like Burlington and hickory.
This is a major reason so many new minor league parks have been constructed recently. Writing has been on the wall on this for years
Seems pretty disingenuous of MLB to have enlisted the help of those in MiLB to get the
Save America’s Pastime Act passed by Congress and then do this.
Anyway, will be interesting to see what happens in North Carolina. Would think Charlotte and Durham are safe, but with a dozen teams in the state, have to think some of those are on the contraction list.
Most of them appear to be up north:
Well, looks like the Burlington team the only one to be eliminated in North Carolina. Did see some of those listed mentioned in the ESPN piece.
They are punting most of the NW, Appy, and Ny/Penn leagus.
I’m thinking that Kannapolis might have a shot at attracting a AA affiliate with the new ballpark.
That original list had the AA affiliates:
Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Mets)
Chattanooga Lookouts (Reds)
Erie SeaWolves (Tigers)
Jackson Generals (D-Backs)
It would be awesome to land a AA team after everything gets shuffled around. Some organizations will likely want to shift things around. Maybe we at least get a Carolina League team in High A.
Side note: There will be a new unaffiliated pro team in Gastonia coming next year.
Kind of sucks how Gastonia did an end around on the Grizzlies after getting their public support for the new stadium.
Sad to see Erie on the list. They have a fantastic downtown ballpark. Sure, it’s 25 years old but it is a great place to watch a game.
One of the goals of this contraction is to reduce travel time and expense. The closest AA team to Kannapolis is Richmond, which is a Giants’ affiliate. Richmond is in the Eastern League, which is centered in the northeast.
A move to the high Carolina League is a possibility, but the owners of the Cannonballers would need to pony up to make that move.
Also a AA team in Knoxville, which is a tad bit closer to Charlotte than Richmond.
If travel expenses are a priority in this retraction, then I expect there’s going to be quite a bit realignment between the parent clubs and their respective quartets of minor league teams. The ESPN piece gave the impression that each MLB team would be able to pick and choose its MiLB affiliates, but seems like the MLB office would have to do it. Hmm…
You’re correct about Knoxville. The Tennessee Smokies play there.
The two other Southern League teams in Tennessee, Chattanooga and Jackson, are on the hit list. Will someone keep a team in Knoxville given how much its travel expenses will be? Their closest opponent will be Birmingham.
The Rangers own the Crawdads already. They are safe.
Should be mostly rookie ball teams.
Yea. They released a bunch of the teams that were being cut. Several Appalachian league teams including Burlington. Oh well. It’s a business.
I hope ticket prices remain reasonable.
Could minor league soccer replace baseball for some of these small markets in the future? A lot of times you go to these games just to have something to do and the winner isn’t as important.