City hears baseball proposal - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

City hears baseball proposal

March 7, 2006

Albany -- An independent league, called The South Coast League, wants start up a baseball team in Albany. Tuesday, the city staff told commissioners it would cost about $225,000 to make needed repairs Paul Eames Stadium.

South Coast League CEO Jamie Toole told commissioners the team would sign a three year contract to stay in Albany, even if they're losing money and attendance is low. But since Albany has had four baseball teams in ten years, commissioners are skeptical.

Toole says marketing is the key to success this time. "We're going to be here a full calendar year in advance of playing baseball," said Toole. "What that allows you to do is build the franchise's identity through name the teams contests, getting the kids involved, sell tickets and corporate advertising. You being to be a staple of the community. You have a year under your belt before you even play. Most of the teams you're talking about didn't even stay here a year."

Toole says he's willing to negotiate the city's cost, and thinks it could be lower than $200,000. The league would also pay for maintenance and utilities of the ball park and lease office space.

Commissioners said they would consider it, but made not decision today.

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