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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Batavia Muckdogs financial situation eroding

Lack of attendance is killing the St. Louis Cardinals New York-Penn League affiliate, the Batavia Muckdogs.

Alanna Stage of the Batavia News wrote an article which outlines the lack of financial progress being made by the Batavia Muckdogs franchise.

Key factoids:

-          With 1,024 fans per game, down from last season, the Muckdogs are last in attendance in the New York-Penn League. The next worst team averages over 1,400.

-          The chairman and COO of Rochester Community Baseball (RCB), operator of the team, is threatening to make the decision to end their management agreement unless attendance improves, perhaps even before the season is out. RCB is only committed through the 2010 season.

-          Remarks from the chairman of The Genessee County Baseball Club, owners of the team, support RCB’s concern over the low level of fan support.

From past articles: link

-          Upon the club’s sale, RCB would pick up five percent ownership of the Muckdogs for each year they have operated the club. 2010 is their third season.

-          RCB lost $400,000 running the Muckdogs during their first two years of operation, 2008 and 2009.

-          The franchise may be worth from $3 million to $5 million on the open market. If sold, it would certainly be moved away from Batavia, likely forever.

I spoke with a senior Cardinals official who would only say that any negotiations for the organization to remain associated with the franchise would not be discussed until after the season ends. The Cardinals player development contract is up this fall.

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