The Batavia Muckdogs (Short Season A; NY-Penn League) could extend their Dwyer Stadium lease beyond 2018, a move that would bring certainty to the franchise’s near future.
There were significant changes for the Muckdogs prior to the 2018 season. Over the offseason, the New York-Penn League took over the operations of the Muckdogs, which had previously fallen under an arrangement that saw the Rochester Red Wings (Class AAA; International League) run the club in exchange for proceeds from a sale. However, that agreement was terminated by the league last fall, clearing the way for it to take over.
The league is expected to continue focusing on a sale, so questions about the franchise’s long-term future remain. However, Dwyer Stadium did receive several improvements the offseason that addressed some areas of concern for the league. For right now, the Muckdogs are using Dwyer Stadium under a lease that will expire following the conclusion of the 2018 season. While an extension has not been finalized, recent comments from interim city manager Matt Worth and New York-Penn League president Ben Hayes seem to suggest it is a possibility. More from The Daily News:
The field, rehabilitated by the team’s new management, was in good shape after a lengthy drizzle Monday; but it was the city that assumed responsibility for re-lamping the bright infield lighting banks, painting and replacement of clubhouse roofs. Worth said those projects were a priority from the league, which Hayes said is “95 percent” certain that Batavia will be a part of the NYPL in 2019 and beyond.
With the breakdown of a previous management and operating agreement that saved the Muckdogs from an earlier demise, the NYPL inherited an existing two-year lease for the stadium this winter. It is set to expire after the three-month New York-Penn League season ends.
Worth said the relationship with Hayes and the NYPL has been productive. Monday’s discussion was scheduled over the weekend, as the league’s leadership planned to take in the Muckdogs opener — a 9-6 win over the West Virginia Black Bears. Extending the lease is preferred by both sides; and the city doesn’t see too many complications in reaching an accord.
“We didn’t get into the nuts-and-bolts details, but I don’t think we needed a lot (of that),” Worth said. “They need to see continued support of the stadium and I think the community is looking forward to (continuing to) having a team to support.”
Aside from investing in improvements to Dwyer Stadium, the league hired an experienced general manager in Dave Chase to oversee day-to-day operations.
RELATED STORIES: Dwyer Stadium Receives Upgrades; Dave Chase New GM of Batavia Muckdogs; Dwyer Stadium Lease Turned Over to New York-Penn League; New York-Penn League Takes Control of Muckdogs; Batavia Muckdogs Operating Agreement Expires