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Snappers sale scratched; Beloit ballpark construction will go on

New Beloit Snappers ballpark

With it increasingly looking like MLB will take over MiLB operations later this year, a bid by Quint Studer to buy the Beloit Snappers (Low A; Midwest League) has been canceled, but construction on a new downtown ballpark will proceed.

Studer has a management deal with the Snappers community-based ownership for this season and is covering the cost of running the team, even though the MiLB season is currently on hold for 2020. What’s being withdrawn: his application with the Midwest League to buy the Snappers franchise. But here’s the deal: with MLB poised to take over MiLB and instituting its own team licensing system, the money paid for an MLB Snappers franchise is effectively worth zero. So withdrawing the Midwest League application, which was not going to be approved in any case (especially with existing Midwest League franchises up for contraction), and scrapping the franchise purchase still puts Studer in a position to land an MLB-sanctioned team.

Especially with a new ballpark on tap. Construction is now expected to begin on the new downtown ballpark in June.

“We feel like we are still in a good position,” Studer told the Beloit Daily News. “This does not impact our plans. We are still moving forward full speed ahead, and my understanding is the stadium is still moving full speed ahead through the Riverbend Stadium Authority. I am excited about the groundbreaking.”

Besides managing the Snappers this season, Studer is owner of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Class AA; Southern League) and was the driving force behind the construction of Blue Wahoos Stadium.

The proposed ballpark will feature a grandstand with administrative offices and player facilities, concessions and restrooms, 360-degree concourse, a center-field outdoor group areas, a kids’ play area and a 300+-capacity stadium club that can be used year-round. The main concourse will wrap 360 degrees around the field and features a main entry gate at center field. Outdoor group areas will be located in left field and right field with a kid’s playground and inflatable area planned for the outfield concourse. An artificial-turf field would allow for uses other than professional baseball.

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