A final location has not been determined, but league owner and CEO Andy Appleby says a new United Shore Professional Baseball League ballpark is in the works for 2020.
Launched in 2016, the independent USPBL currently features four teams playing out of Jimmy John’s Field in Utica, MI. The league’s first three seasons have been a success, but the goal has always been to add additional clubs and ballparks over time.
In a recent interview with The Detroit News, Appleby indicated that he is speaking with communities in several states about a potential new ballpark. The location has not been settled, but Appleby’s goal is to break ground on the privately financed ballpark in June 2019 and open it in time for the 2020 season. More from The Detroit News:
Andy Appleby, owner of the USPBL, told The Detroit News this week that he is in “earnest” talks with about 20 cities, including spots in West Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Colorado.
Appleby said he will own the second stadium, and plans to “have a shovel in the ground on June 1,” with teams playing there Opening Day 2020. The plan, Appleby said, is to add one team to the league when the new stadium opens, with two calling one of the stadiums home, and three for the other.
The ambitious expansion plans come on the heels of the USPBL’s most-successful season yet at the box office.
“I think in a team when attendance at sporting events has gone down, we continue to go up — not through anything but hard work and creating a wonderful experience at the ballpark,” Appleby said. “We continue to work most every second of the game and really treat every fan and every family as great as we can every single night. We always knew we would have to build this one family at a time, and we’re doing just that
Jimmy John’s Field is currently home to the league’s four clubs, the Utica Unicorns, Eastside Diamond Hoppers, and Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers. The facility has generally been noted for providing a solid fan experience, and could serve as a model for a future USPBL ballpark.