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Bye Bye Beloit?

Posted by JeromeTyleski , 09 February 2020 · 725 views

beloit snappers contraction
How much would you pay for a team that may not be around next year? If you’re Quint Studer, apparently $9 million is a good market value.

In September, that’s what Studer reportedly paid for the Beloit Snappers of the low-A Midwest League. According to Ballpark Digest, much of that sale price will be put back into efforts to build a new stadium, which the Beloit Snappers may need to survive.

The stadium situation could be of actual urgency and not just a ploy to create leverage because of the impending negotiations surrounding the Professional Baseball Agreement between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball. Currently, MLB wants to reduce the amount of MiLB teams by 42 and according to one version of the list, the Beloit Snappers would be on the chopping block.

On paper, choosing the Snappers as part of the “Forsaken 42” makes sense. Their attendance was second-worst in the Midwest League at 1,181/game (the Burlington Bees were dead last at 1,053/game). But MLB wouldn’t care about the attendance (and thus, revenue) of teams they don’t own. What most likely defines MLB’s desire to get rid of teams (besides the cynical view of just not wanting to pay as many minor-league salaries), is the quality of the stadiums their cherished prospects play in. It is here that the Snappers suffer.

Harry C. Pohlman Field is 38 years old and one of the worst stadiums in the Midwest League. While not every stadium can be the Quad Cities River Bandits’ Moodern Woodman Park, the Snappers may now need to upgrade their stadium situation to remain viable. All parties appear optimistic about the potential of building a new stadium, so potentially the Snappers will be around to see the 2021 season.

In the end, Quint Studer will be fine. He already owns the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, who are not on the potential elimination list, and must be having enough success with the Blue Wahoos to try and add another team to his collection.

There’s a strong possibility MLB will try to compensate the owners of any MiLB teams that get contracted and if the payout is anywhere close to what Studer paid for the team, he’ll be fine. But let’s be honest, anyone who can pay $9 million for a team that may not exist in 2021 is going to be fine no matter what. In fact, he may be playing with house money at this point.

  • mikelink45 and bighat like this

I went to school in Beloit for two years and yeah, every time I went to a Snappers game, my friends and I made up roughly 50% of the attendance. I actually loved the stadium and they did a good job of setting up promotions throughout the game to keep you entertained. I don't know that a new stadium would do much to draw in more unfortunately. The team just isn't much of a draw among students at the school and you don't really see many locals attending either. Might just not be a viable town for a professional team.