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Baseball has long been considered America's favorite pastime. Cracker Jacks, fly balls, and relaxing summer days build memories with young and old alike. It's a sport that fosters family traditions and community strength with the potential to open new doors to Jackson.
Stadiums, teams, and sporting events hold major advantages for cities and their surrounding economy. Cities around Michigan, including Grand Rapids, Lansing, Detroit and Traverse City, all reap the benefits of professional baseball teams and sports venues that bring people and dollars to the county.
However, Jackson currently has no home team to root for. A baseball stadium will provide a location for not only a sports team to cheer for, but an economic boost and a tourist attraction that the entire community could get behind. Entertain employees and business associates, bring the family for a night together, or hold special events - the reasons for bringing someone to the park extend beyond balls and strikes.
A baseball team would showcase Jackson to a seven state market as they travel through the midwest. A stadium in the city would provide a place for all residents to go and enjoy what we have in our city. It's time to cheer for our team. The team from Jackson.
Local businesses and citizens alike will have the opportunity to share ownership of a professional team in Jackson through crowdfunding.
A Jackson baseball stadium will be developed with the funds of private investors. Much of the construction cost of a new stadium will be financed through naming rights and sponsorship opportunities.
The people of Jackson will have an opportunity to own the home team through crowdfunding. Much like the Green Bay Packers, ownership of the baseball team would be held by many individuals who buy stock and become shareholders.
Jackson has the opportunity to field an expansion team in the Frontier League, an independent professional baseball league with franchises located throughout the Midwest.
Starting in 1992 the Frontier League was organized to bring professional baseball to communities that would never have a chance of establishing a baseball team affiliated with Major League Baseball. Over the last 20 years the league has expanded from eight to 14 teams, entertained more than 1.5 million fans a season and launched the careers of MLB All-Stars.
Team rosters are made up mostly of players between 21 and 27 years old. While half of a team's roster may consist of two and three year players, the other half is required to be filled by players who are still at rookie status. This ensures the league has a steady rotation of fresh, young talent.
Frontier League teams compete in 96 games from May to September with a two-round Championship playoffs in October. The season also includes an annual All-Star game and Home Run Derby in July.
Imagine the possibilities. A baseball stadium is more than just a sports venue. It can be a concert hall or convention center, a family picnic site or client meeting room.
Outside of 42 home games a season, a stadium offers a location for sporting events other than baseball, as well as accommodating musical performances, festivals, community events and more.
For Jackson residents, a stadium would be another offering for local entertainment. Families and friends could gather together for the weekend. Business owners could treat customers and employees to an evening at the park.
The stadium connects other local organizations to the team and area. Regional baseball tournaments can be held between local high schools or colleges; youth sports would have a large home for showcasing games; outdoor festivals would have a central location with ample parking and services.
Most importantly, a stadium would be an asset to the community. Drawing thousands of fans from around South Central Michigan, it would become a catalyst to the local economy by bringing tourists to our hotel rooms and patrons to our restaurants and shops.
Baseball teams and stadiums are nothing without the support of fans. How do you feel about building a stadium and bringing a team here to Jackson? Would you support the endeavor or even invest?