Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The New Leagues

There are a two new independent leagues which will be getting off the ground in '07 - the South Coast League and the Continental Baseball League. The SCL would seem to have a good base to start from as 5 of the 6 cities have hosted professional baseball and they have some quality facilities to play in. Also, they have been able to procure some recognizable managers with Wally Backman, Phil Plantier, and indy league legend Jackie Hernandez each taking the helm of a team. But how will attendance be ? They aren't in any big metropolitan areas and teams in Florida (i.e. the Florida State League) do not have a good track record for drawing fans. I think there is room for an independent league in the south, but whether the SCL has identified the right markets is an open question.

I'm a lot more skeptical about the CBL (especially since they aren't even recognized on OurSportsCentral). They only have three real teams (the fourth is a traveling team) and their facilities appear to be nothing better than high school fields. Two of the teams will be in the Dallas area, while the third will be in the Houston suburbs. Good markets no doubt, but with lousy facilities and no publicity, it's hard to imagine this league surviving too long. Perhaps they are trying to resurrect the early days of indy ball when leagues were thrown together based on where they could find fields, not whether they would be good markets.

Despite my skepticism, I'll be rooting for both leagues to succeed, as having more indy leagues is always a good thing.


Ken said...

I sometimes wonder if some of these areas can or will support independent baseball. How many of these teams have the proper financing behind them? If they can succeed, great. But if the people aren't really prepared to lose a good amount of money operating these teams, watch out.

Brian said...

In the case of both of these new leagues, my understanding is that all teams are owned by the league. So the question is whether they have the money to keep the league going for a whole year. Clearly these leagues will not be making any money in year one.

Mary T. said...

HI....glad I checked your website..interesting as always. I just sent you come info about the baseball music project. Looking ahead to being in the audience when it comes to my 2008.