Joe Becker Stadium‘s future is to be the subject of discussion, as the Joplin City Council is set to hear a proposal relating to the ballpark.
Prior to the 2015 season, Joe Becker Stadium underwent an extensive renovation to accommodate the newly-arrived Joplin Blasters (independent; American Association). The Blasters lasted just two seasons before ceasing operations after the 2016 campaign, leaving Joe Becker Stadium without a professional baseball tenant in 2017.
A proposal for the ballpark is expected to be presented to the Joplin City Council on Monday by consultant Craig Puckett. Puckett has not offered the specifics behind the plans, but confirms that he has been in touch with some leagues. More from The Joplin Globe:
He did acknowledge that he has been in touch with a startup league, the Southwest League of Professional Baseball, that is lining up teams for a league kickoff in 2019.
“A lot of things they do fit well with what I think Joplin needs to see,” Puckett said. But he has been in touch with others as well, he said.
Puckett said he has been eyeing opportunities in Joplin since 2015, when a plan to become a minority partner with the Suarez family in the former Joplin Blasters baseball franchise did not work out.
He has been consulting since then with city officials and visited Joplin in the spring as he scouted options for Joplin’s rebuilt baseball stadium. Work to install artificial turf in both Becker and Wendell Redden Stadium infields has recently been completed at a cost of $461,000.
Joe Becker Stadium was put to use by a summer collegiate team in 2017, as it hosted home games for the Joplin Outlaws (MINK League).