MLB Tells Eugene Emeralds Owners Get A New Ballpark

MLB has complete control over the minors.

Major League Baseball eviscerated its partnership with Minor League Baseball after the 2020 season. There was no minor league baseball in 2020 because the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the minor league baseball calendar year. In a thorough sweep of the minor league baseball business, more than 40 minor league baseball franchises were extinguished. Some of those remaining franchises better watch out. If a franchise doesn’t have a stadium up to whatever Major League Baseball owners’ standards are, MLB has issued a warning, get a new stadium built or renovate your stadium or else. Eugene, Oregon has been put on notice, get a new stadium by 2025 or the franchise will be sent elsewhere. The Richmond, Virginia Double A franchise is still in that city although MLB wants a new stadium in Richmond for the Flying Squirrels franchise soon.

In Eugene, the local franchise played on the short season rookie league level but all of the short-season rookie leagues were dropped and Eugene was granted a franchise to a full season low level northwestern United States league. But it was conditional with the understanding a new stadium was needed. The franchise shared the stadium with the University of Oregon’s team so there was no overlap. The Eugene team needed a local stadium for half of June and in July and August and used the facility less than 40 days a year. That could change this year depending on when Minor League Baseball starts as the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed back the beginning of the 2021 Minor League season. If conditions improve in 2022, there would be an overlap in April and May. MLB wants certain standards for its affiliated teams and Eugene has a park that does not have a visitors’ clubhouse. Eugene ownership is seeking a new ballpark but there are location and funding questions that need answers.

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