With Shawn Reilly unable to find a buyer for the Alexandria Beetles, the summer-collegiate Northwoods League is taking over team operations and addressing some $90,000 in team debt.
Reilly was pretty transparent this offseason about the need to sell the team to settle debts; after three years he had had enough. A listing price of $125,000 wasn’t enough to draw an offer, which means the league has the unpleasant duty of talking over the team and dealing with the almost $90,000 in team debt. A transfer of the team is taking place right now. From the Alexandria Echo Press:
“We hope it will be done in the next two, three weeks,” [league president Dick Radatz Jr.] said of when the change in ownership could be finalized. “At this point, that’s where it stands. Obviously, first things first, Shawn has left a great deal of debt within the community, so we would need to address that. In order to run an effective operation, that would have to be cleaned up.”
Reilly said it’s not a comfortable situation for anyone involved. Most of those vendors who are waiting to get paid are people he knows personally and have been dependable sponsors with the team under his ownership.
“Our goal was never to leave debt or not be in business,” Reilly said. “But it’s the reality of it. It’s just been disappointing because our goal has always been to find our own buyer, and we didn’t do it.”
This doesn’t mean baseball is doomed in Alexandria. There are some issues with the market — it’s the smallest in the Northwoods League and the Knute is a limited facility. But as the league looks to westward expansion, keeping Alex for travel purposes is an important factor for the summer-collegiate circuit. North Dakota is going through a bit of a boom right now (as you may of heard), and there are plenty of markets (Bismarck, Jamestown) that would make sense for the Northwoods League.
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