Southwest League Pushes Back Inaugural Opener to 2019
League will open with a minimum of six cities
Dallas, TX – The Southwest League of Professional Baseball is moving back the opening of the inaugural professional baseball season one year to April, 2019. The league had previously announced that it would begin play in April, 2018 with six member cities.
“There were two factors that brought us to this decision”, stated league founder and owner Mark Schuster. “First, it is important that we have the remaining members in our league complete before we ask our current city partners to invest in a public/private partnership. “Second, we wanted to be certain that each stadium was 100% completed by opening day. Given the current landscape in Texas with respect to construction growth it did not give us the complete confidence that we would open the professional baseball season without the stadiums being completed. The bottom line is that we have said from day one that we were going to do this the right way”, stated Schuster.
“When I came aboard as President, Mark stressed to me that we were going to do this right. We were not going to make the same mistakes that other up-start leagues have made”, stated Tom Hill. “That was one of the critical selling points made to me early in the process”.
“We have a very strong lineup for our 2019 inaugural league members but those agreements have taken longer to memorialize than expected”, stated Schuster. “The remaining league members are all located in the Southwestern United States in markets that are currently underserved for professional independent minor league baseball”. These members will be announced in the coming months”, stated Schuster. “The response from the Waco and Royse City markets has been tremendous with season ticket reservations in both cities exceeding expectations. Current season ticket holders will maintain their place in seat selection and will continue to keep preferred status for concerts and events once the stadium opens.
The new Royse City team will play in the Ballpark at Royse City, a new $12MM stadium located just on Interstate 30 westbound in a development entitled Anderson Crossing. The stadium will also feature seating capacity for baseball of 4,000. The Royse City Griffins field manager will be announced in early August, 2017.
The new Waco team will play in The Ballpark at Bellmead, a new $12MM stadium located just off Interstate 35 near Loop 340 in Bellmead, TX. The stadium will feature seating capacity for baseball of 4,000.
The Southwest League (www.swlbaseball.com) will play a 112 game schedule with 56 home games and 56 games on the road.