As the New-York Penn League continues to evolve, the Batavia Muckdogs find themselves in a situation of uncertainty.
The developments relating to the NY-Penn League and the Muckdogs are not necessarily new. The combination of more modern facilities and an expanding geographical footprint have made Dwyer Stadium something of an outlier in the league, and the Muckdogs have been on the market for a few years. In fact, at one point this year it looked that this season may be the team’s last, as a move to Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf, MD was on the table.
However, that proposal fell apart after it became entangled in a territorial dispute (more on that here) and the Muckdogs remain in Batavia, where they continue to struggle to attract fans. At that the backdrop of this, of course, is that Dwyer Stadium lags behind many of the league’s modern facilities, and the team has traditionally been operated at a loss by the Rochester Red Wings (Class AAA; International League), who are running the operations until Genesee County Baseball sells the team.
For the time being, the Muckdogs and the Red Wings are doing what they can to keep the franchise going. More from The Buffalo News:
“Consistently there’s a core group of fans who are phenomenal fans,” said Naomi Silver, president and CEO of the Rochester Red Wings. “They’ve been coming to ballpark for a very long time and really care about their team.
“We would like to see more people in attendance but it just may not be in the cards for them. We’ve tried everything. Things just in that regard have not changed,” she said about attendance figures. “We’re not pushing it as though we have to get out of there immediately, but some day the right individual or group will come along and purchase the team and make the decision if they need to move it, or if they will be able to stay and get enough support locally.”
Batavia has a ton of history in the NY-Penn League, having been in the circuit since 1961. Yet the league has changed drastically in that period, especially within the last two decades, which might make it hard to keep that history going for the long term.