The status of Joe Becker Stadium for next season was been in doubt because of the departure of the Joplin Blasters (independent; American Association), who folded after the 2016 season amidst financial problems and strained relations with Joplin, MO officials. The Outlaws had previously used Joe Becker Stadium, but shifted their games after Joe Becker Stadium was renovated in 2015 to accommodate the Blasters.
For right now, the Outlaws are only committed to Joe Becker Stadium through next summer. More from the Joplin Globe:
At that point, it became a “logical choice” to have the Joplin Outlaws play at Joe Becker next season, said Paul Bloomberg, parks and recreation director. The arrangement is just for the next year; no official decision has been made about who will call Joe Becker Stadium home in the 2018 season or beyond.
“I think with the new renovation, and the Outlaws draw a decent crowd, I only think their numbers will go up,” Bloomberg said. “It’s a great stadium to watch baseball in. We’ll do our due diligence in trying to get people to come to the games as best we can. We definitely want to see the Outlaws succeed, and (we’ll) see what happens after the 2017 season.”
Before finalizing an agreement with the Outlaws, Joplin officials engaged in talks with the independent Pecos League about leasing Joe Becker Stadium for next season. However, the two sides were unable to come to terms.