Diamond League dead for 2014

Remember that new independent baseball league that Atlantic League CEO Frank Boulton was planning?

Yeah, it kind of slipped my mind too.

Last week, Boulton issued a statement announcing that the Diamond League of Professional Baseball would not begin play in 2014.

I was unable to be completely satisfied that there were six available facilities that measured up to our professional playing standards. We do, however, believe in the economic model and the need based in the game of baseball for a circuit like the Diamond League to exist. We will work towards an 8-team 84-game schedule to start play in 2015.

Carl Barbati of the New Jersey Herald reported that Boulton’s announcement means baseball will not return to Skylands Park next year.

Dave Nordman of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette wrote that the news hurt the chances of professional baseball coming back to Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field on the Holy Cross campus next year, but mentioned the Can-Am League had some interest.

The former home of the Atlantic City Surf hosted baseball games last month, but the players were all 13-15 years old, competing in the Babe Ruth Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament.  And John O’Kane of the Press of Atlantic City reported that the ballpark no longer has lights.

Anybody care to guess what will happen with the Can-Am League’s plans for expansion, which are due to be announced in another month?

About Paul

NY Mets enthusiast, toy collector, amateur gardener, Christian. I like to take pictures & write things.

Posted on August 19, 2013, in Baseball and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Paul,

    Beware! Sarcasm alert upcoming…

    So, the Diamond League won’t get out of the starting gate for 2014? SURPRISE!

    End of sarcasm alert.

    The attendance numbers for an equivalent league, the Can Am, don’t indicate the support level for a new league, let alone the Can Am. My guess is that, had the Diamond League gotten off the ground, it might have destroyed both leagues as it would have spread both the low-level talent base as well as fan interest in same too thin.

    Let’s take a look at attendance numbers, shall we?

    The American Association, for whom the Can Am plays in some interleague play, has thirteen teams. Assuming the attendance numbers are accurate (and, from firsthand experience, let’s just say they not be), the BEST Can Am team would come in at number ten. And, with the exception of Sioux City, the bottom three Can Am teams would be comfortably ensconced at the bottom of the AA. Stacked 1-18, Quebec would come in at number ten, Rockland eleven, NJ and Three Rivers at 15 & 16 and Newark dead last.

    What that tells me is that the Can Am isn’t too viable.

    So, if the Can Am is thinking of expanding, which defies explanation given the current attendance numbers, they’d better find a couple teams who can draw 3,000 a night. Because any more Newarks, or even NJ or Three Rivers will just hasten the league’s demise. Unless, of course, owners and/or Miles Wolff want to continually infuse cash in the hope that things turn around.

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    • Mark, I agree with your overall point – a healthy league can’t afford more franchises with empty ballparks – but I’m not sure that comparing Can-Am League attendance to the American Association is really a fair measuring stick of success.

      One thing to keep in mind when looking at attendance numbers is stadium capacity. The Jackals are averaging 1,785 per game this year, but Yogi Berra Stadium seats 3,784. Trois-Rivieres is averaging 1,525 in a park that holds 4,500. Rockland is averaging 2,864 in a ballpark that holds 4,750. Quebec is averaging 2,971 in a ballpark that holds 4,800.

      Only Newark (averaging 451 in a 6,200 seat stadium) even has the seating capacity to accommodate the average crowds of the Winnipeg Goldeneyes or Kansas City T-Bones.

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