Lafayette is a decent-sized market — some 173,000 or so people live in Tippecanoe County and 230,696 residents in the four-county Lafayette-Frankfort CSA, and that doesn’t count any students at Purdue University in West Lafayette.
The team will play out of Loeb Stadium, which seats 3,500. A key to landing the team: the city agreed to let MKE Sports sell beer at Loeb Stadium, ending a longtime prohibition on suds at the ballpark. The lack of beer sales has always put a damper on pro baseball there, with multiple teams going under. The independent Great Central League tried to make a go of it in the mid-1990s without beer sales, but the Lafayette Leopards eventually folded, as did the circuit. Mid-America League and Heartland League failed there as well. Most recently the Ohio Valley Redcoats of the independent Frontier League played some games there in 2005.
MKE Sports and Entertainment also owns the Kokomo Jackrabbits and Jamestown Jammers in the Prospect League. A deal to manage the Frontier League’s Rockford Aviators ended in midseason 2015.
The owners are on the lookout for a team name: check out the Lafayette Baseball website for more information.