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Rural King

Minor League Baseball in Bowling Green?

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A group of investors called 'Play Ball 05' is gearing up to officially push for city approval of a plan to bring professional minor league (Class A) baseball to downtown Bowling Green. The group says they have the finances, a developer, and a team in place for their proposal. All the city would be asked to do is approve the plans, create a special tax district, and donate some land the city currently owns for project. The project also includes a parking structure, a hotel, high-end residential, and retail components.

Bowling Green Daily News:

http://www.bgdailynews.com/articles/2007/0.../news/news1.txt

I think this sounds like a great deal for Bowling Green and could really spur on the development of its downtown.

Anybody have any thoughts on this proposal?

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this sounds like a good deal, but i personally dont think the city will have enough support for a minor league team...maybe i am wrong but i experience the area everyday being that i go to school down here, and the city basically revolves around the school...

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So in your opinion you don't think the proximity of WKU could help a team's attendance any? I know in summer most students would be gone, but in the late spring and early fall I would think this would be a cheap venue for college students to get some entertainment off campus. It would be interesting to see how well a team would fair in the city and who makes up its attendees.

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I don't think BG could support a team. Lexington just got a single A club about 7 years ago. Bowling Green is about 1/5th the size of Lexington. They don't even fill the stadium for the WKU football team, who is consistently at the top of the I-AA rankings. I don't know how they will meet the attendance requirements now that they're transferring to DI.

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I think it would be great for the city of BG to bring in a minor league baseball team. I agree with Rural King in thinking that it would be a great source of entertainment for a lot of college students and families as well. Not to be nitpicking with the previous post, but Lexington is not 5 times larger than BG. The recently released 2006 population estimates has Fayette county at 270,000 and Warren county with 101,000, so the general area is not even three times larger. I think a minor league baseball team along with the proposed SKYPAC (Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center) would do wonders for the vitality of downtown BG.

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I think it would be great for the city of BG to bring in a minor league baseball team. I agree with Rural King in thinking that it would be a great source of entertainment for a lot of college students and families as well. Not to be nitpicking with the previous post, but Lexington is not 5 times larger than BG. The recently released 2006 population estimates has Fayette county at 270,000 and Warren county with 101,000, so the general area is not even three times larger. I think a minor league baseball team along with the proposed SKYPAC (Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center) would do wonders for the vitality of downtown BG.

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This is a few days old but here's a follow up on this story. BG City Commission approved exploring further options on bringing a minor league baseball team to town. It's stated if this project is realized it would accelerate BG's 20-year downtown redevelopment plan up by 15 years.

http://www.wbko.com/home/headlines/7212091.html

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There is a team in Jackson, TN which is very similiar in size to Bowling Green.

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Yep there is, unfortunately it has developed a serious attendence problem. A problem that persisted even during their division championship winning season two years ago. As a local I can't say I fault the management or the ownership at this point, they have tried extremely hard these last two seasons to turn things around. However it came a tad too late and on the heels of threats to move the team. Why does the city not support the team? I think the locale of the stadium is a huge factor, located way out east of the city and until recently near nothing at all except for an industrial park, so you had to be going to a game to go out that way. Folks in the city dont want to drive that far out, and folks from teh region sure dont want to drive up to an hour to Jackson then out to a remote park away from all the dining and shopping the city serves as a hub for. Thats changing now with a sports complex and a new shopping mall being built, but again, it appears it may be too late. Fans also were lost due to issues with promoting to the city/region and the attempts to move the team at the first sign of rough waters, thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So in sum, while I am very optimistic about what a great project this can be, there are serious things to consider and mistakes to avoid. I do however think this project has a much better chance to be a long term success than Jackson for a myriad of reasons: the downtown stadium, the associated developments, the location of WKY and its student population, etc. I hope this project succeeds, since just because a similar town is having issues does not necessarily mean its issues are universal, rather each situation has to be looked at and assessed on its own.

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i think this is an awesome idea for bowling green. i also read where owensboro was trying to get some sort of a minor league team. these are great venues that increase the quality of life for residents. especially in the summer, a baseball game is always fun. with bowling green growing the way it is, it most definitely needs to keep up with the quality of life issues. after the SKyPAC and the minor league baseball stadium, what do you think is next for bowling green in order to keep pace? it's truly and amazing and impressive city for its size. it has a theme park! i just think that is awesome.

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