The ballpark Stadio Steno Borghese in Nettuno, Italy, home of the two baseball clubs in Nettuno, Nettuno BC 1945 and Nettuno Baseball City, is in state of despair. The mayor of Nettuno, Alessandro Coppola, is willing to renovate the ballpark but only when certain demands are met.
The ballpark where Nettuno Baseball City celebrated four championships is nearing its thirtieth anniversary and is suffering from deferred maintenance. The turf is looking like a wasteland, the structure needs a serious upgrade.
But mayor Coppola is not willing to allow improvements to be made. At least not until his demands are met.
Coppola wants both Nettuno baseball clubs to merge. Merge… two clubs that are the fiercest rivals. The rivalry between both clubs may come close to the one between the Yankees and the Red Sox. Both clubs loathe each other.
Coppola has played a role in Nettuno baseball in the previous years. During the 2018 season, he allowed Nettuno Baseball City to play at Stadio Steno Borghese for free as the club was in deep financial trouble. The FIBS helped the club as well as Nettuno Baseball City was allowed to play its road games in Nettuno to save the club from travel expenses.
Somewhere in the offseason, Coppola decided that of the two baseball clubs in Nettuno, Nettuno Baseball City would be the one to play at Stadio Steno Borghese. Nettuno BC 1945 stood aside.
With his demands of both Nettuno clubs merging, it would not take long before one of both would react. In this case, Nettuno BC 1945 sent out a press release in which they compared the demands of Coppola with blackmail.
As Nettuno Baseball City was in financial trouble again during the 2019 season when their main sponsor walked away it remains to be seen how that club will fare in 2020. The other Nettuno baseball club, Nettuno BC 1945 has found a new big sponsor in Safeway and may be knocking on heaven’s (Serie A1’s) door.
But with Coppola’s stand, the imminent future of baseball in Nettuno remains unsure. Will both clubs be prepared to merge? If not and Nettuno Baseball City will remain in financial trouble while Nettuno BC 1945 may flourish with their new sponsor will Coppola remain a hardliner?
To be continued…