In a statement on its website, International Baseball Partners announced it has entered a Collaboration Agreement with the FEBEKO, the Baseball Federation of Curaçao.
It is not the first time that International Baseball Partners shows its interest in the island of the Dutch Caribbeans. Back in 2015, IBP signd a Memorandum Of Understanding with the government of Curaçao to build a baseball complex that would serve as low minor league hub after MLB withdrew from Venezuela. Eventually the MOU fell through as the new government of Curaçao did not want to spend money on a baseball facility. Rightfully so, the government back then, said there were more important things to spend money on.
With this new deal, the FEBEKO and IBP to promote youth, adult, and professional baseball on the island. The Agreement signed by IBP and FEBEKO is a significant development in the move toward establishing Curacao as a major international baseball hub. Chief Executive Officer for IBP, Michael Powers made the announcement and issued the following statement:
“IBP is pleased to announce that we have entered into a working agreement with Curacao’s leading baseball governing body, FEBEKO. We believe the time is now to bring together the vision of IBP with that of FEBEKO to build an international baseball hub that will benefit Curacao and the region. IBP is honored to be the first baseball company from the United States to collaborate with FEBEKO, and we look forward to growing this cooperation to enhance the quality of youth and adult baseball on the island. It is our goal, through this Agreement and the RIF Stadium Renovation Project to assist in the economic recovery for the people of Curacao.”
Earlier this summer, IBP announced plans to renovate Rif Stadium, which is close to the Rif Fort. Part of these plans were also the makeover of historic Johnny Vrutaal Stadium. Details of the IBP Curacao plan would include a minor league sized, state-of-the-art baseball stadium that would include corporate suites, an attached landmark hotel overlooking the stadium, and an indoor training facility that would not only work with the island’s existing baseball infrastructure but also attract international showcases and tournaments. The ballpark could be home to a new professional winter league.
Strange thing is that nothing about this new agreement can be found at the Facebook page of the FEBEKO, that is celebrating its 87th anniversary this year. Since the previous plans and agreements between IBP and Curaçao fell through, it remains to be seen if this one will be successful.
Dutch Baseball Hangout will keep an eye on the developments.