Bakersfield Blaze owner D.G. Elmore continues to talk with locals about a new ballpark — and brings into question whether two Cal League teams will move east.
Bakersfield Blaze (High Class A; California League) owner D.G. Elmore continues to talk with locals about a new ballpark in that California city — and brings into question whether two Cal League teams will indeed move east in 2010.
As you’ll recall, the plan was for two Cal League teams — Bakersfield and High Desert — to shift to the Carolina League after this season. It’s not a secret, and MiLB’s Pat O’Conner has been upfront about that plan with Bakersfield residents. (Though, we will note, the chatter about the move diminished considerably after the Winter Meetings. The economy has everyone worried, and asking a municipality to spend a lot of money on a new baseball team perhaps isn’t the soundest of business strategies these days.)
Despite the planned franchise shift, locals have been working on a replacement plan for Sam Lynn Ball Park, obtaining free land from Cal State Bakersfield and seeking private financing methods. Again, with the economy in its current state, finding someone to finance a ballpark isn’t the soundest of business strategies, either — but it’s all the folks in Bakersfield have without anyone in city government pressing for some city solution.
And now there’s the chance of a new ballpark, Elmore isn’t all that eager to sell the Blaze, which would seem to put the kibbosh on the Cal League/Carolina League shift. But he’s also being realistic about the prospects of a new ballpark in this economy, according to the Californian:
"I think there are people that generally, in the community and in city government, want professional baseball in Bakersfield."
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