Old discussion about shifting teams to Carolina League flares up again

A couple of months ago, you could read an article about how the Bakersfield Blaze plan to move to Salinas balked. Eventually Salinas in the Monterey Bay Area was named as a possible location. But now that plan has been shot down, another old discussion flares up again.

Around 2010 there was a serious discussion going on about a relocation of the Bakersfield Blaze and the High Desert Mavericks from the California League to the Carolina League. And now with the near impossibility to have a new ballpark built in California without public funding, this discussion starts to flare up again. At the beginning of the economic crisis, the State of California reclaimed all development funds. As written in the article about the Bakersfield Blaze, private investors are hard to be found.

Heritage Field in Adelanto, home to the High Desert Mavericks

This means that teams like the Blaze and the Mavericks are stuck in old ballparks. Personally I don’t think that the stadium of the High Desert Mavericks in Adelanto is a bad one, but apparently the club owners think differently.

In the same period that the discussion about a possible move of the Blaze and the Mavericks to the Carolina League reared up, the city of Apple Valley pitched for a ballpark plan, but the location where the ballpark was projected was far from suitable. Besides that, the city didn’t have the funds to pay for the construction of a new ballpark.

Especially with all the moves in the Carolina League, there are markets left alone without baseball teams. Take Savannah for example. The local SandGnats will leave to another town. Fayetteville may be an option to house a team. With Wilmington leaving the league there amy be another town willing to fill that void.

So far it is still the owners that are talking about this possibility. But if it remains impossible for cities to invest in stadiums in the near future, this discussion may become more than a discussion alone.

Personally I would regret it a lot if the Mavericks would move to the East Coast. This club has a special place in my heart. I saw my very first minor league game there and my daughters were alllowed to throw out the first pitch there.

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