The summer collegiate Northwoods League could place a franchise in Mitchell, SD, as league and city officials are set to discuss a proposal.
On March 9, the Mitchell Parks and Recreation Board will consider a plan from the Northwoods League to add a team in the city by as early as the 2018 season. Discussions of a deal are preliminary at this point, but the proposal calls for the league to add an expansion team that could play at Drake Field for at least five seasons.
If Mitchell is added to the mix, it would help the Northwoods League expand its footprint to the west, according to circuit chairman Dick Radatz, Jr. More from The Daily Republic:
“I would say that I’m hopeful,” Radatz said of Mitchell’s prospects. “It’s a strong baseball area and you can see that just by being in the community for a short time. I know we’re very interested in Mitchell and the comment we’ve made is that it’s a community that seems to be bigger than it really is in size.”
The move comes as the Northwoods League starts its westward expansion. The league is adding the Bismarck Larks in North Dakota for the 2017 season and is looking to add franchises that complement its expansion to the Dakotas.
“Right now, Bismarck is on an island. So adding teams out west would make it easier and would make travel more convenient for our teams,” Radatz said. “I would expect that we’re going to be talking to more cities in North Dakota and South Dakota and further west.”
Last Thursday, the league announced that its board of directors had granted affiliate status to Huron, another South Dakota city. In the announcement, however, representatives of the league and the city stressed that more work is needed before an agreement is finalized.
In a letter to parks and recreation director Nathan Powell, Radatz said the Northwoods League would notify Mitchell of its decision “by September 1 of the year preceding its desired year of expansion.”