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Doubledays miss loan payments; city grants extension

Auburn DoubledaysThe Auburn Doubledays (short season A; NY-Penn League) have missed loan payments to the city, but the nonprofit running the team will make interest-only payments in 2015 and pay off the principal in 2016 under a new plan.

A year ago the nonprofit Auburn Community Baseball (ACB) received a $125,000 loan (with a nice 3.25 percent interest rate) to cover outstanding balances with vendors and suppliers, but the team missed two of the four quarterly payments in September and December 2014, leaving some $93,750 left on the loan. Under the revised terms of the loan, ACB will cover interest payments in 2015 and repay the principal in 2016. From the Auburn Citizen:

While the city owns the Doubledays, ACB is in charge of franchise operations. The nonprofit has purchased amenities in recent years for the Doubledays’ Falcon Park that likely should have been the city’s responsibilities, Selby said.

A recent example would be a new field tractor, purchased in 2013 for $15,748, or around $20,000 in commercial laundry equipment bought over the past two seasons.

Along with declining attendance figures from past seasons, these purchases have only worsened the nonprofit’s financial situation, Selby said. The city may consider purchasing these amenities from the group in the future to offset the loan.

Speaking of the Doubledays: ACB has submitted for league approval a restructuring with a new nine-person board. The goal: increase revenues. As a city-owned entity, ACB and the Doubledays are unusual in the world of Minor League Baseball. Still, there’s some cause to believe the current management can make it: the team saw a rise in attendance last season from 1,158 fans per game to 1,240, and a similar jump this season would be good news for ACB and Auburn.

RELATED STORIES: Doubledays nonprofit owner seeks city help to cover debt

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