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 November 19, 1999

Baseball surveys demonstrate lack of real game plans

Baseball has come to the plate, but is the region ready?

Not yet, apparently. The Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball sent out questionnaires to eight communities in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska, seeking information on the potential for creation of a Rocky Mountain Rookie League. The office wanted to know about projected attendance, facilities, operation of the teams, etc.

All of that’s well and good, but for most of the communities — Grand Junction being the exception — probably premature. Fort Collins, for example, has virtually nothing figured out as to the makeup of a minor-league operation or facility. Most communities sought extensions of the Nov. 15 deadline to provide the information. It was unclear at press time whether those extensions would be granted.

Nevertheless, one thing remains clear: From Greeley to Fort Collins, Cheyenne to Laramie, local communities must wake up if they hope to lure a minor league to the region. The benefits of such a league are enormous: retail and restaurant sales, revitalization of downtowns and other areas, and, most importantly, the addition of a major amenity to our communities.

The league ostensibly would begin with four teams, then later be expanded to eight. While the Major League Baseball questionnaires revealed the lack of a game plan on the part of most communities, they could also serve as catalysts for those communities to figure things out.

A minor league would be a boon to the region. It’s now time for every community being considered to step to the plate.

Baseball has come to the plate, but is the region ready?

Not yet, apparently. The Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball sent out questionnaires to eight communities in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska, seeking information on the potential for creation of a Rocky Mountain Rookie League. The office wanted to know about projected attendance, facilities, operation of the teams, etc.

All of that’s well and good, but for most of the communities — Grand Junction being the exception — probably premature. Fort Collins, for example, has virtually nothing figured out as to the makeup of a minor-league operation or facility. Most…

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