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Border Cats to return in 2011; no promises after that

Port Arthur Stadium

The Thunder Bay Border Cats (summer collegiate; Northwoods League) will be returning to Port Arthur Stadium for the 2011 season, but fans must turn out for games if the team’s long-term survival is to be assured, according to owner Brad Jorgenson.

It’s no secret the Border Cats have failed to put up big numbers in Thunder Bay, averaging 668 fans per game in 2009 and 651 fans per game in 2010. Those numbers are low even for a summer-collegiate, leading to speculation the team might not return.

Hence the statement issued by Jorgenson.

“We cannot continue without the support of the community,” Jorgenson said in the statement.  “We believe Thunder Bay is turning the corner economically, and we want to be a part of that.”

The goal of 900 to 1,000 fans a game seems attainable: the team once averaged close to that. And, going back into ancient history, Thunder Bay was a pretty decent market, with the late, great Thunder Bay Whiskey Jacks once among the league leaders in Northern League attendance. And, lest we forget, Thunder Bay ranks second only to Madison in size among Northwoods League markets.

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