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Latest in Sky Sox affiliation saga - Team joining Pioneer League in 2019 (Post #287)

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Offline  Re: Latest in Sky Sox affiliation saga - San Antonio plan shelved (Post # 224)
Posted: April 21, 2017, 5:56 PM Post
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Sky Sox's future in Colorado Springs remains highly hazy
David Ramsey, Colorado Springs Gazette


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Offline  Re: Latest in Sky Sox affiliation saga - San Antonio plan shelved (Post # 224)
Posted: April 22, 2017, 11:22 AM Post
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I have not read this entire thread word for word. - lots of it though. That said, is it time for another Wisconsin affiliate? I love the TRats but would pay good $ to go see a AAA team in Madison.


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Offline  Re: Latest in Sky Sox affiliation saga - San Antonio plan shelved (Post # 224)
Posted: April 22, 2017, 8:50 PM Post
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Hammer said:
I have not read this entire thread word for word. - lots of it though. That said, is it time for another Wisconsin affiliate? I love the TRats but would pay good $ to go see a AAA team in Madison.


That's only been mentioned about 500 times in this thread and many others. I think we'd all love to see it but many don't see the Brewers putting a AAA team so close to Milwaukee.


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Offline  Re: Latest in Sky Sox affiliation saga - San Antonio plan shelved (Post # 224)
Posted: May 15, 2017, 3:23 PM Post
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We have brought up the possibility of Mark A and the Brewers just purchasing land and building a stadium for a AAA team. Here a recent article about the Milwaukee county selling land for a minor league affiliate for 26 million. This would be great, but would not be available for a couple of years obviously. Cross your fingers..

http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/bl ... pport.html - old article from August 11th of '16

http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/ne ... nklin.html - recent article from May 5th

http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/ne ... mmons.html - updated article from May 15th


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Offline  Re: Latest in Sky Sox affiliation saga - San Antonio plan shelved (Post # 224)
Posted: May 16, 2017, 2:18 PM Post
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leitermab07 said:
We have brought up the possibility of Mark A and the Brewers just purchasing land and building a stadium for a AAA team. Here a recent article about the Milwaukee county selling land for a minor league affiliate for 26 million. This would be great, but would not be available for a couple of years obviously. Cross your fingers..

http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/bl ... pport.html - old article from August 11th of '16

http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/ne ... nklin.html - recent article from May 5th

http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/ne ... mmons.html - updated article from May 15th


Ignoring the issues of being so close to the Brewers, I don't think there is any way they would want a stadium that is only 4,000 capacity at AAA.


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Offline  Re: Latest in Sky Sox affiliation saga - San Antonio plan shelved (Post # 224)
Posted: May 16, 2017, 2:30 PM Post
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Yea, that Franklin project has nothing to do with a AAA affiliate.


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Offline  Re: Latest in Sky Sox affiliation saga - San Antonio plan shelved (Post # 224)
Posted: June 21, 2017, 11:06 AM Post
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The Sky Sox will cease operating as a AAA team as of 2019, and join the short season Pioneer League.


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Offline  Re: Latest in Sky Sox affiliation saga - Team joining Pioneer League in 2019 (Post #287)
Posted: June 21, 2017, 11:10 AM Post
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Triple-A baseball leaving Colorado Springs; Sky Sox will become Rookie League team
By: Brent Briggeman


The 30-year run of Triple-A baseball in Colorado Springs will end in 15 months.

The Elmore Sports Group announced Wednesday it is responding to “pressure from within Major League Baseball” and moving the Triple-A Sky Sox to San Antonio for the 2019 season and replacing it in Colorado Springs with the short-season Rookie-level team currently in Helena, Mont.

The Double-A San Antonio Missions will move to a new ballpark in Amarillo, Texas.

The Elmore Sports Group owns the three relocating teams.

The possibility of this move was reported by The Gazette in Jan. 2016, and the Elmore family appeared with a team mascot before the San Antonio city council a few months later to announce intentions to relocate to the Alamo City. But the transaction was dependent upon the contingency of San Antonio building a new ballpark to house the Triple-A franchise.

That contingency no longer exists, and the only roadblock remaining is formal approval from the leagues involved.

“Unless something wacky happens, I don’t think there’s anything that could derail this,” said D.G. Elmore, president of the Elmore Sports Group.

The biggest impact for fans in Colorado Springs will be a drop from 70 to 38 home games and the length of time between seeing players at Security Service Field and in big league ballparks.

The team in Colorado Springs will retain the name of the Sky Sox, and the mascot Sox the Fox will still be part of the ballpark experience.

The degree of change on the field will be determined by fans’ ability to discern a difference in talent between the more refined Triple-A and Rookie Level baseball, where players are generally fresh out of college or even high school.

Current stars like Nolan Arenado, Mike Trout, Kris Bryant and Clayton Kershaw logged time in short-season levels.

“Fans are going to still get all the great promotions and see the great talent on the field that they’re used to seeing here at Sky Sox,” said team president and general manager Tony Ensor of the move to the Pioneer League, where the schedule runs from mid-June until early September, “but they’re going to get to do it in the best weather as opposed to coming out in April and May and experience some of those colder temperatures.

“The players are going to be hungry to make an impact in professional baseball, that’s what I’m excited about. Young players who want to put their best foot forward, and we get to see that talent, in many cases, right after the MLB draft and the College World Series. Those players will be coming here to Colorado Springs, and I think our fans are going to love that.”

The Sky Sox provided attendance data showing only 28 percent of its attendance over the past five years was accrued in the months of April and May, a span that accounts for roughly 40 percent of the home dates. Of the games lost to weather since 2006, 81 percent occurred in the time before the Pioneer League schedule opens.

Elmore cited weather as an issue that prompted the move, and weather has certainly played a factor in attendance. The Sky Sox crowds were the smallest in the Pacific Coast League last year and have ranked better than 12th in the 16-team league just once in the past dozen years.

Elmore, who didn't move the team through its consistent years of poor attendance, like the stretch from 2005-08 when it was last three out of five years, said the variable that changed and prompted the move was the impact of the city's high elevation.

The Sky Sox, who moved to Colorado Springs from Hawaii in 1988 as the Cleveland Indians' top farm team, had been the top affiliate of the Colorado Rockies since the franchise joined baseball as an expansion team in 1993. When the Rockies ended that relationship and moved to Albuquerque, N.M., in 2014, Colorado Springs and a stadium that towers as the nation’s highest professional ballpark didn’t make sense as the final player development destination for another franchise.

The Brewers were the last team standing in a multi-team affiliate shift in 2014 and have been paired with Colorado Springs since then by default.

“When the Rockies left there was a lot of pressure from within Major League Baseball to find some place for Triple-A other than an elevation close to 6,500 feet,” Elmore said.

The Brewers are affiliated with the Pioneer League team in Helena as well as the current Sky Sox, but affiliation agreements expire after the 2018 season so it is unknown which team will be tied to the new club in Colorado Springs. The Rockies own the Grand Junction team in that league, making them an unlikely option.

Pioneer League teams travel by bus, which will make for some lengthy trips for the Sky Sox in an eight-team league concentrated largely in Idaho, Montana and Utah.

Elmore, who is chairman of the board locally at Navigators, said he spends a lot of time in the Colorado Springs area and lamented that "it was a hard decision to make this move.”

Largely quiet on the long question of a move away from Colorado Springs, Elmore addressed two longstanding questions on the issue.

First, he said San Antonio was the only destination considered.

Second, he said it would impossible to say if a new ballpark in downtown Colorado Springs might have prevented this move.

“I don’t know. I’d hate to speculate that, ‘Gosh, if we would have had a downtown ballpark that would have made a difference.’ It doesn’t change the elevation much, I think it’s a few hundred feet,” said Elmore, whose group owns Security Service Field and has pumped more than $10 million in capital improvements in the facility over the past 12 years. “So probably not, but I’d hate to speculate on that.”

The speculation that can finally end is whether or not Triple-A baseball will survive in Colorado Springs, and if a replacement could be found.

“What I think is great about this is it answers all those questions, the rumors, that people have had over the past year, year and a half, about whether the team was going to be leaving,” Ensor said. “This answers that question in spades. The Colorado Springs Sky Sox are not going anywhere. We just celebrated 30 years here. I expect there to be a team to celebrate 60. I think that’s going to give our fans some comfort knowing that top-level, professional, affiliated baseball will be in Colorado Springs from here to eternity. We’re going to continue to create the best fan experience that we possibly can for the next year and a half as Triple-A, and then even more so as a Pioneer League short-season affiliate.”


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Offline  Re: Latest in Sky Sox affiliation saga - Team joining Pioneer League in 2019 (Post #287)
Posted: June 21, 2017, 11:11 AM Post
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already posted this in MLB forum, but the brewers are still screwed IMHO. I am sure the ownership group will want to get a texas team as their affiliate. my guess is that the brewers will get stuck with Fresno and Houston gets San Antonio

http://ballparkdigest.com/200905261902/ ... dance-2012


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Offline  Re: Latest in Sky Sox affiliation saga - Team joining Pioneer League in 2019 (Post #287)
Posted: June 21, 2017, 2:17 PM Post
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FYI - The Gazette posts bus ride travel distances and times for Colorado Springs in the Pioneer League.

And will the Springs be placed in the "Northern" Division, where Helena is now? Otherwise the two divisions are askew, and the schedule is heavily weighted to division play.

For instance, currently Helena and Great Falls are just 90 minutes apart, Billings is under four hours away.

Rough, real rough.


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Offline  Re: Latest in Sky Sox affiliation saga - Team joining Pioneer League in 2019 (Post #287)
Posted: June 21, 2017, 2:20 PM Post

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oakland's pdc with the nashville sounds expires after the 2018 season. it would be awesome if oakland signed a pdc with fresno (less than a three hour drive from oakland without heavy traffic), and the brewers went back to nashville. while fresno's stadium isn't as new as nashville's, it was built in this century, and oakland would gain the proximity advantage.

the sounds' ownership wanted oakland because they wanted a winning team. the 2015 sounds had a .458 winning percentage; in 2016, .585; and currently, .514.


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Offline  Re: Latest in Sky Sox affiliation saga - Team joining Pioneer League in 2019 (Post #287)
Posted: June 21, 2017, 3:49 PM Post
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Would Mark A even want to go back to Nashville? That was a pretty ugly breakup the first time .


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Offline  Re: Latest in Sky Sox affiliation saga - Team joining Pioneer League in 2019 (Post #287)
Posted: June 21, 2017, 8:16 PM Post
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Mass Haas said:
FYI - The Gazette posts bus ride travel distances and times for Colorado Springs in the Pioneer League.

And will the Springs be placed in the "Northern" Division, where Helena is now? Otherwise the two divisions are askew, and the schedule is heavily weighted to division play.

For instance, currently Helena and Great Falls are just 90 minutes apart, Billings is under four hours away.

Rough, real rough.


Moving Colorado Springs to the South and Idaho Falls to the North is probably the best move out of the current situation, assuming no other changes to the Pioneer League makeup. The rumor of a team potentially moving to Pueblo, CO in the future would necessitate another change in the alignment.


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Offline  Re: Latest in Sky Sox affiliation saga - Team joining Pioneer League in 2019 (Post #287)
Posted: June 21, 2017, 10:12 PM Post
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COLUMN: No one to blame but Helenans for Brewers' departure


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Offline  Re: Latest in Sky Sox affiliation saga - Team joining Pioneer League in 2019 (Post #287)
Posted: June 22, 2017, 10:17 AM Post
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patrickgpe said:
already posted this in MLB forum, but the brewers are still screwed IMHO. I am sure the ownership group will want to get a texas team as their affiliate. my guess is that the brewers will get stuck with Fresno and Houston gets San Antonio

http://ballparkdigest.com/200905261902/ ... dance-2012


Is Fresno a bad site?

Would the Brewers ever get to go back to Indianapolis or was that a bad site for the Brewers when they were there?


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Offline  Re: Latest in Sky Sox affiliation saga - Team joining Pioneer League in 2019 (Post #287)
Posted: August 12, 2017, 5:43 AM Post
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Interesting article on why Colorado Springs (the city, stadium, etc.) will be just fine economically with a Pioneer League team --

Sky Sox won’t do business as usual
Bob Stephens, Colorado Springs Business Journal


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Offline  Re: Latest in Sky Sox affiliation saga - Team joining Pioneer League in 2019 (Post #287)
Posted: September 16, 2017, 7:18 PM Post
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In March I threw out there the possibility of Colorado Springs moving to Wichita. That did not happen obviously, but the Wichita mayor commented a couple of weeks ago that he expects to make a MILB announcement by the end of the year. Any chance the Fresno sale to stay in Fresno falls through and the Grizzlies move to Wichita? I would think that Wichita would be very interesting to the Brewers organization as a AAA affiliate especially if they build a new stadium.


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Offline  Re: Latest in Sky Sox affiliation saga - Team joining Pioneer League in 2019 (Post #287)
Posted: September 16, 2017, 10:12 PM Post
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It.will be curious to see what happens when their agreement ends next season.


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