Will we see a lot of minor league teams fold?

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Orangeman
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Will we see a lot of minor league teams fold?

#1 Post by Orangeman » Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:42 am

The Augusta Lynx of the ECHL, who I believe hired a broadcaster from an STAA posting, folded recently.

http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/20 ... 3061.shtml

Because of the economy, it's definitely a bad time to be running a minor league sports team... I could definitely see it getting worse before it gets better, and the ECHL commish said he expects a few teams to fold by next year. I have to think this is going to hit minor league baseball hard this summer.

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#2 Post by Marky » Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:48 am

Here's the story with the Augusta Lynx. I never, ever thought they got enough coverage.

Give you an example. Last year I interviewed for a job with an Aiken, S.C. newspaper that was looking to do a bit more than just the standard high school game stories.

Or so they said.

This probably isn't the way to go to get a job, but I'd covered the ECHL before and really couldn't see myself writing about high school basketball when there was an honest to goodness sport I loved that I could be responsible to bringing to the masses.

Check out the distance between Aiken and Augusta sometime. They're right next door.

"You'll get a chance to cover The Masters!"

Nope, I'm a hockey guy. I'm more for those loose collars than the button-down tie of The Masters. And I maintain in Aiken, a very old money town, you're going to have a lot of interest in a sport like hockey- which is largely suburban in culture.

The Lynx even advertised in this paper, but bottom line was they could not get ANY coverage in this old money town.

"I'll be your guy! I'll get you a whole new readership!"

Nope. High school basketball.

UGH! You have no idea how much I hate high school thugball- I MEAN BASKETBALL!

A lot is going to depend on how much the media promotes minor league sports. It's always free advertising.

If the local talk shows talk up the team and print media goes on the road, then there's a shot at survival. That's free advertising.

If they take the Generals' mentality, less coverage means less importance in the minds of a community.

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#3 Post by PhilGiubileo » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:02 am

The Flint Generals have had much bigger problems than their radio coverage or lack thereof in recent seasons...

The local paper in the area actually gives the Generals decent print coverage... And having radio coverage or not isn't going to change their situation really at all--they're in such bad shape that I would assume that they're going to fold, and nothing at this point would turn things around anyway...

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#4 Post by Rob Abreu » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:48 am

Looks like the AFL is going to cancel their 2009 season
http://sports.espn.go.com/extra/afl/new ... id=3759813

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#5 Post by Marky » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:41 am

Saw that.

I was interested to learn that some teams have a $2 million payroll. There was a RULE back when Arena Football started that teams could not pay more than $50,000 to a player- and nobody got that wage.

The teams were owned by the league and most players got something like $500 a game and $1,000 for a victory.

I don't know for how long that system was in place. The Pittsburgh Gladiators once announced they were going to get into a bidding war to lure Major Harris to their team, but that never materialized.

But the way professional sports are going, could Arena Football be the first of many to fall?

Also, if AFL2 is still going, and I assume the other smaller Arena leagues as well, does that mean that there is now a deeper pool of talent for them? Granted, these teams don't pay much (the Ohio Valley Greyhounds- who folded a year ago- paid their players about $200 a game) but they may be more apt to survive because a higher caliber of player may be interested in them.

So I might contact the Omaha Beef or somebody like that for a sportscasting job. Everybody else will.

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#6 Post by Broadcast Junkie » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:30 pm

I've heard the rumor that a lot of the United League teams in Indy Baseball are going to fold? Or perhaps some will be absorbed into other leagues?

micmoles

#7 Post by micmoles » Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:21 am

The effect thus far on minor league baseball.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/12/sport ... &th&emc=th

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#8 Post by JasonV » Mon Dec 15, 2008 3:08 pm

Broadcast Junkie wrote:I've heard the rumor that a lot of the United League teams in Indy Baseball are going to fold? Or perhaps some will be absorbed into other leagues?
The United League only has six teams. It looked like four would fold, and two would be sold to the Golden League, but a court order stopped that. Some former investors in the United League stood to lose a lot of money they were owed if the current league owner was allowed to disband. The United League has since announced that they will play in 2009, but currently, one franchise is said to have no employees and another is locked out of its facilities by the city it operates in, because of a disagreement over utilities.

Other than that, the only indy baseball franchises I know of that have had their existences threatened are Newark in the Atlantic League, and Ottawa in the Can-Am League. Newark found new ownership, and the Can-Am League will run Ottawa until they find a new owner.

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#9 Post by Scott_Sudikoff » Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:18 pm

JasonV wrote:
Broadcast Junkie wrote:I've heard the rumor that a lot of the United League teams in Indy Baseball are going to fold? Or perhaps some will be absorbed into other leagues?
The United League only has six teams. It looked like four would fold, and two would be sold to the Golden League, but a court order stopped that. Some former investors in the United League stood to lose a lot of money they were owed if the current league owner was allowed to disband. The United League has since announced that they will play in 2009, but currently, one franchise is said to have no employees and another is locked out of its facilities by the city it operates in, because of a disagreement over utilities.

Other than that, the only indy baseball franchises I know of that have had their existences threatened are Newark in the Atlantic League, and Ottawa in the Can-Am League. Newark found new ownership, and the Can-Am League will run Ottawa until they find a new owner.
I was under the impression that the Ottawa Can-Am team was completely gone, and if they aren't able to add another team, they will bring back the Traveling Grays too. I was with the Worcester Tornadoes this past summer, and it's a pretty competitive league, hopefully the economic problems don't affect the league too much.

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#10 Post by Scott_Sudikoff » Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:35 am

Nevermind, looks like you are right with Ottawa. They released the schedule today and the Rapidz are on there.

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#11 Post by Orangeman » Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:52 am

I was talking to a friend who is a beat writer for an AHL team, and he said he has been hearing that their are a few AHL clubs in trouble... I guess there are some potential franchise relocations in the works that would drastically change travel schedules and add expenses for other teams... If it happens, a few AHL teams may go under.

I am starting to wonder if this will essentially allow the higher level minor league teams to pay their broadcasters more like the entry level jobs because of the pool of applicants being bigger than ever.

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#12 Post by johnmeissner » Sun Dec 21, 2008 2:19 pm

From what I understand, the owners of the Augusta Lynx lost a ton of money in another business (real estate maybe?) and that put the hockey team in a hole it couldn't dig out of.

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