I am a huge fan of low level professional baseball. I really appreciate the drive of the guys at the lower divisions, hoping that they can keep climbing up. I especially love the unaffiliated minor leagues. It is still professional, but it is VERY low.
I recently read that a very unsettled Frontier League team out of Michigan (it has moved around and even operated as a travelling team) will be moving to London Ontario.
I am so excited about this move! The last time a Frontier League team was in that area, they had the all time coolest name in all of minor league baseball (they were the London Werewolves!). This team will be playing at the same historic field that the Werewolves occupied, Labatt Park.
I read an article recently about an amateur team that also occupies that facility. The team is upset about the new Frontier League team coming in to play their games, and ultimately to compete for the local fans attention.
A few local fans in the area did comment, and it appeared that they felt both teams deserved support.
I do hope that the amateur team continues to get lots of local support. I also hope that the baseball fans in London realize that a Frontier League team in their area is very cool and beneficial.
The Frontier league has evolved a great deal since the Werewolves pulled out of town a decade ago. The league is expanding, and the teams are drawing fans.
Personally, I have an affiliated team within a few miles of my house. I see that team 10-20 times a year. I drive a lot during the summer to catch other minor league teams. The closest Frontier League to me is an hour away. I go to several of their games each year too.
The Florence Freedom are about 70 miles from my house. I look forward to the weekend games when I have a moment to drive to the area for an evening game. The Florence area is nice. There are several book stores, sandwich shops, and a couple of other local businesses I visit while I am there.
I usually have 1-4 friends I meet for the games too, and we spent a lot of time in the Florence area. We also spend money.
I figure the local economy appreciates my time in the area. I appreciate the fact that Florence has a Frontier League team.
I have spent a lot of time (and money) in minor league towns. I know lots of other people that also visit minor league towns, and support the area businesses.
Off the top of my head, I know that the last two seasons I have supported the local economy in Kansas City KS, Washington PA, Bridgeport, CT, and York PA on road trips to see independent teams.
I have never driven out of the way to see an amateur team.
I hope London thinks about the benefits to their local economy (and, I think the town is thinking that way, as they have OK'd the team to come to town). There are minor league baseball fans out there that are going to come to your area and spent money because there is a professional team there.