The independent Freedom Baseball League, which has had games cancelled this season because of rent owed on ballparks, will be back next season, says organizer Joe Sperle.
You’ve got to give Sperle credit for hard work in the face of overwhelming odda. Baseball in the Valley of the Sun is a hard sell in the summer, when daytime temps can easily be over 110 degrees, and he and his investor have chosen to limit their sights to the Phoenix area. Add to that a generally rough atmosphere for independent baseball outside the established leagues, nonexistent revenue either at the box office or among sponsors, and you’ve got a business plan with some serious holes.
Still, Sperle thinks the league can bounce back if it returns in the 2013 season, capable of generating a million dollars in revenue. Given that the league is a secondary tenant in most of its “home” ballparks — Scottsdale Stadium, Phoenix Municipal Stadium, etc. — that’s hard to imagine, but Sperle sound like quite the optimist. From the Examimer:
Yeah, we’re still going to move forward. It’s a good thing and a lot of people are really enjoying it. We’re going to continue to go forward and build a league that players can come to. We have players contacting us all the time that want to continue to play, so if the need is there, and we learn from this and continue to get more people here and more sponsorships….the first year is always the toughest in any business.
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