With the blockbuster announcement by the Elmore Sports Group this week that three MiLB teams will be on the move for 2019, several leagues are planning their future configurations. We continue with the Pacific Coast League, a potential new San Antonio ballpark and how things could change on the affiliation front.
If local officials wanted a signal that the Elmore Sports Group was serious about a new San Antonio ballpark, they received it this week, when it was announced that the Colorado Springs Sky Sox would be moving to Wolff Stadium in 2019. This is, of course, a temporary move if D.G. Elmore and crew have their way. The goal is a new Triple-A level ballpark; the issue is how it gets done. From the San Antonio Express-News:
Said Missions president Burl Yarbrough, “While we have not yet determined what the specific baseball stadium needs are to advance to Triple-A, nor have we secured private sector development partners or a stadium development plan, we will begin that process immediately.”
New Mayor Ron Nirenberg said he looks forward to hearing more about the team’s stadium plans.
“The Elmore Sports Group has not yet presented the city with a stadium development plan that includes a private investment team, nor has a specific site been selected for a new stadium development,” Nirenberg said in a press release. “Until we see all of that, I have no further comment.”
In that same article, it was suggested that Elmore Sports Group could receive some assistance from the Pacific Coast League:
“In recent years,” PCL president Branch B. Rickey said, “our league has had remarkable success in working with municipal officials and civic leaders to spark revitalization and new development in quite a number of other cities.
“The success of these other projects prompts natural speculation and confidence that something similar can and will happen in this city.”
Assuming the move happens, you can expect to spur some talk about new affiliations come 2019. The affiliation between Texas and Round Rock, Houston and Fresno, and Milwaukee and Colorado Springs all end after the 2018 season. Logically, the Rangers would affiliate with the new San Antonio team and the Astros would affiliate with Round Rock. That would leave the Milwaukee Brewers potentially pairing with Fresno. Brewers GM David Stearns was asked about the potential this morning. His reply:
“I still think it’s probably a bit early to determine (where we will go),” Brewers General Manager David Stearns told WTMJ’s Wisconsin’s Morning News on Thursday. “Our PDC (Player Development Contract) with Colorado Springs (runs) through the 2018 season. So until then, we’re going to keep our options open and see what facilities might be available to us.”
We still have a ways to go before there are only three teams left on the Triple-A affiliation front. And there are plenty of PDCs expiring in 2018, as you can see on our Affiliate Dance page. Technically, MLB and MiLB teams can’t discuss future affiliations until an existing deal has expired.
RELATED STORIES: The Future of the Texas League: Remarkably Stable; After Helena Move, What Will Pioneer League Look Like?; Elmore Sports Group: Three Franchise Shifts in 2019; San Antonio Mayor: Ballpark Talks Are Not Dead; City Suspends Planning on San Antonio Triple-A Bid; No Plans For Releasing San Antonio Study; Elmore Sports Group Confirms Potential Sky Sox Move to San Antonio; Colorado Spring Sky Sox to San Antonio? Maybe