People other than myself have discussed the possibility of bringing minor league ball to the region. The following is an excerpt from the Miramichi Twins page from July 27, 2016, entitled “Miramichi Twins see 20 percent increase in registration from last year”. The Baba quoted in the article is Jim Baba who was (and as far as I can tell) still is the executive director of Baseball Canada. Prior to this blurb he discusses how the Blue Jays postseason in 2015 helped increase both awareness & registration in baseball across Canada. He cited how the back to back World Series in 1992 and 1993 lead to a huge increase in registration when he was working with Baseball Saskatchewan.
Consider this to be a sister post to the Alex J. Walling article I just posted minutes ago.
Baba said although the sport has been increasing across the country for the past few years, New Brunswick has always had among the highest increasing registration numbers.
With baseball reaching new levels of popularity in New Brunswick Baba said the possibility of an affiliated single A franchise or an independent Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball (Can-Am league) team expanding out east is a possibility.
“Baseball in Atlantic Canada has always really been a big sport,”Baba said
Miles Wolff, Can-Am League commissioner has recently expanded the league into Ottawa and Baba said he is still looking to grow.
“I know he likes to expand,” Baba said, of Wolff.
David Dion, executive director of Baseball New Brunswick said he would love for professional baseball to come out to New Brunswick but he thinks it would be a difficult process.
“You need the right people to come forward with the right pocket book,” Dion said. “It would be awesome for baseball in the province. . . But it’s not always easy to have all that stuff line up.”
Dion said professional baseball does increase interest in an area. He said Blue Jays have been an aid to the sport in New Brunswick but it has also been the focus on development.
Full article can be viewed here.
To summarize, both Baba and Dion say what I’ve been saying for years. A pro team in the region will increase awareness of baseball across the Maritimes. This is turn would lead to more kids playing the game. This would be great for the sport in our region as we won’t have to rely on the Blue Jays winning to stimulate increase in baseball. Especially with the Blue Jays rebuilding, this can only be seen as a good thing. Miles Wolff is mentioned in the article saying he likes to expand the footprint of his league’s, including the geographically proximate Can-Am League. I am not sure if there’s a Double A league that could expand here as per geography. It will cost money to start up a team (or teams) here but with the right marketing & sponsorship there’s no reason to believe teams in at least Moncton and Halifax couldn’t be successful.