UPDATED: The Kalamazoo (Mich.) City Commission approved a lease with the summer-collegiate Northwoods League for Homer Stryker Field, former home to pro baseball in the city.
The league has been working with the city on a lease proposal for several months, a process delayed by the appointment of a new parks and rec director in the city. The lease will kick in for the 2014 season and will cost the team $35,000. Stryker Field last hosted the Kalamazoo Kings (independent; Frontier League) and has hosted baseball since 1928.
The move makes sense for the circuit on many levels. First, it provides a natural travel partner for the Battle Creek Bombers; previously the closest teams to Battle Creek were in eastern and central Wisconsin. Second, it continues the expansion of the 16-team league; with Kenosha also entering the league next season, the Northwoods League is at a solid 18 teams and eying expansion both in the existing footprint and westward. A 20-team league by 2015 is not outside the realm of possibility.
The owners of the team are currently investors with the Joliet Slammers (independent; Frontier League).
RELATED STORIES: Kalamazoo, Northwoods League negotiating Homer Stryker Field lease; Northwoods league eyes westward expansion; Bismarck Municipal Ballpark to be renovated this summer; Satchel Paige, Bismarck and Lawrence-Dumont Stadium; Northwoods League extends B.C. lease, eyes Kalamazoo
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