Fat Strat wrote:If you have a decent stadium, teams will play in it. Johnson City will get a dozen offers from teams as soon as this goes through.
The only stadium in the Appy League that would qualify as decent would be in Greeneville, and not coincidentally the Greeneville park is on a college campus. The rest are basically a bit nicer versions of old high school ballparks, as every park except Greeneville is at least 25 years old. The last Appy League city to lose its team was Martinsville, about 15 years ago (which they lost to Greeneville, of course). Their old stadium is now home to a wooden bat collegiate summer league, and not coincidentally WBCSL is what MLB is suggesting for the cities that lose their MILB teams.
There's just no way an Appy League can attract meaningful dollars to pay players. These are small cities in one of the poorest, most isolated areas in the country, so they need a major league subsidy. I loved going to games there, but the players hate it and I'd guess major league offices think it's absurd to send kids, many of them Hispanic immigrants, to Hooterville, Tennessee, so maybe half of them can make it to full season A-ball, and half of those can make it to AA. A huge chunk of these guys are essentially lottery tickets, and it's hard to see the economic sense of maintaining all these lower level franchises so that one of fifty lottery tickets can turn into Aaron Miles and maybe a second guy turns into Brandon Dickson (who BTW pitched for that college in Greeneville).