After being dumped from the MiLB lineup in MLB’s makeover of the industry, the Batavia Muckdogs saw success in the summer-collegiate world, more than doubling attendance at Dwyer Stadium.
During the team’s final days in the Short Season A NY-Penn League, the team was owned by a local nonprofit but was run by the Rochester Red Wings (Triple-A; International League), which also invested in the team ops in the hopes of recouping that money when the team was sold. In the end, the NY-Penn League assumed control of the team. But the team never was sold–an attempt to sell the team to a Waldorf, MD investment group led by African-Americans was killed by the Baltimore Orioles on territorial grounds, and reportedly an from Pittsburgh Pirates owner Robert Nutting was rejected for being insufficient–and when contraction hit, the team folded.
Picking up the pieces: Robbie Nichols and CAN-USA Sports, LLC, who launched a new Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League team at Dwyer Stadium. Nichols is an experienced summer-collegiate operator–his Elmira Pioneers are among the attendance leaders in the industry–and he brought that success to Batavia. Attendance was up 127 percent, from 794 fans per game in 2019 to 1,778 fans a game in 2021, and the number of season tickets rose from 79 to 501. Nichols also added the number of events at the ballpark, ranging from high-school games to tournaments to Halloween parties and dance competitions–pushing Dwyer Stadium as a community resource. From the Daily News:
“We ranked 22nd in the country out of 168 teams. We’re quite pleased with the way our season turned out and now we’ll have more time to build off of that in the future,” he said….
Councilmember John Canale said he went to quite a few games this year.
“Just a great time, Robbie … The atmosphere there was absolutely tremendous. Everybody who was there was having fun,” he said. “You promised us that and you came through for us.”
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