It seems that Joplin, MO officials are keeping their options open for Joe Becker Stadium, as they are maintaining a dialogue with the Frontier League.
Joe Becker Stadium was home to the Joplin Blasters (independent; American Association) from 2015-2016, after which the club ceased operations. Joplin leaders continue to oversee the upkeep of the ballpark, and are considering the future of the playing surface.
A discussion earlier this week that included the mayor and the city council centered around a proposal to install an artificial surface infield at Joe Becker Stadium, and it was during that meeting that mayor Mike Seibert mentioned the Frontier League. Both Seibert and the Frontier League have since confirmed that there is an ongoing dialogue between the two sides, but emphasized that those conversations are preliminary. More from The Joplin Globe:
“They’ve been here and looked at the stadium. We have agreed to keep a dialogue going between the city and their league,” Seibert said.
“We have had some preliminary conversations,” Bill Lee, commissioner of the Frontier League, said Wednesday. “They were just very preliminary. Our league now stands at 12 teams and we’re in good shape.” He added, “But we always like to talk to communities who have an interest.”
The mayor said city officials most recently spoke with Lee during the time the City Council was considering whether to turf Becker and Wendell Redden stadiums.
“We were just talking about the fact we were considering adding turf and they were giving us their perspective on turf. Nine of their 12 teams have turf,” Seibert said.
When the mayor mentioned the Frontier League during turf discussions at Monday night’s council session, “My comment came in the context of what was their experience and background with their different fields that have turf.”
Joe Becker Stadium was renovated before the arrival of the Blasters in 2015. Though it does not currently have a professional tenant, it is still home to some baseball action, as the Joplin Outlaws (summer collegiate; MINK League) are set to use the facility this summer.