Joe Chlapaty, who sought to bring minor-league baseball to Dubuque in 2007, is back and says he's ready to invest in a new ballpark if he can find a team.
Local son Joe Chlapaty, who sought to bring minor-league baseball to Dubuque in 2007, is back and says he's ready to invest in a new ballpark if he can find a team.
Chlapaty, who reportedly owns a small stake in the Tampa Bay Rays and who made his money in plastic-pipe fabrication, told a local news station he's still working on bringing a pro team to a privately financed ballpark on Port of Dubuque land. This is the same plan he pushed in 2007, and he's facing the same issue he faced then: there's no team in the Low Class A Midwest League on the market — at a price Chlapaty is willing to pay at this time, anyway.
If it is true Chlapaty owns a chunk of the Tampa Bay Rays, that would presumably preclude him from going indy. So that realistically leaves summer-collegiate ball as his only recourse, and we're not sure a Northwoods League team would yield enough revenue to pay for a new privately financed ballpark, even if it is built on the cheap. Building a new ballpark for summer-collegiate ball is largely uncharted territory: the only new ballpark in that circuit was Copeland Field in La Crosse, and that ballpark was built on free city land and financed with a private donated that did not need to be repaid.
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