The St. Croix River Hounds (summer collegiate; Northwoods League) will not begin play in 2019, as delays to their ballpark project have contributed to a change in plans.
Previously announced as a Northwoods League expansion entry for the 2019 season, the River Hounds are slated to play at a new ballpark constructed at the site of the former St. Croix Meadows Dog Track in Hudson, WI. As envisioned, the new ballpark will be one component in the larger Hudson Gateway development project for the site. Over multiple phases of construction, the development is slated to be built out to include a hotel, offices, condominiums, indoor sports complex, microbrewery, and other amenities.
The River Hounds’ inaugural season will not be 2019, however, as the club recently announced. Delays to the development of the site were a factor in pushing back the inaugural season. More from the Hudson Star-Observer:
“We have worked hard to make the summer of 2019 our inaugural season, but several factors beyond our control will not make that possible,” a release from the team said.
Delays to the development of the overall site are part of the reason for the baseball schedule change. The development agreement between the company and the city of Hudson was just approved on Oct. 5.
“While delays are part of any construction process, due to several obstacles, we had to use all our contingency days which left us unable to get back on schedule to beat the winter season,” the release stated.
The Northwoods League, the collegiate summer league that the team will be part of, requires an even number of teams to enter each season, and an odd number were looking to enter for 2019.
The River Hounds will now plan on a 2020 launch, as was indicated in a statement released by the team. As for the Northwoods League, it is still set to welcome at least two new clubs in 2019. A new Traverse City team will take the place of the Traverse City Beach Bums (independent; Frontier League) at Wuerfel Park, while the Kokomo Jackrabbits will join the Northwoods League from the summer-collegiate Prospect League.