HOLYOKE, Mass (WGGB) — Owners of a local baseball team are making a renewed push to bring minor league baseball back to the Pioneer Valley. It involves the owners of the Holyoke Blue Sox.
Team executives say local sports fans have overwhelmingly supported collegiate level baseball. That’s why they think it’s time to take the next step.
“Ultimately our goal has always been to bring an affiliated baseball team to this area,” Chief Operating Officer Barry Wadsworth said.
Wadsworth knows to attract a minor league team, a minimum 3,500 seat stadium is necessary.
The question: What local developers are willing to help build it, and where.
“We’re into talking, and sitting and listening, and to see what their interests are,” Wadsworth said.
Local casino developers have shown interest.
MGM Springfield says their immediate priority is to acquire a license and work on downtown Springfield. However, minor league baseball is on their long term radar.
“We are doing something very similar we are pitching in Biloxi, by way of example, right across from our Beau Rivage product,” MGM Springfield President Bill Hornbuckle said. “We love the synergy. We understand what it can bring. But as of today, our focus is going to be on what we have already talked about.”
Wadsworth says the team would like to stay in Holyoke, but MacKenzie Stadium just simply is not cutting it, either for luring college students or in the future a major league affiliated team.
The park needs concession, bathroom, field, and seat upgrades.
The Blue Sox say they’ll be playing for many seasons to come, and at the same time working towards both a new park and new minor league team.
Their 2013 season kicks off next month.