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The Madison Record

Minor League Baseball, Southern League approve Baybears’ move to Madison

MADISON – Madison officially has a baseball team.

Both Minor League Baseball and the Southern League have approved relocation of the Mobile Baybears to Madison.

BallCorps LLC, owner of the Mobile BayBears of the Southern League, announced on May 31 that the company has received official approval from Minor League Baseball to relocate the team to Madison. Beginning with the 2020 season, the team will play in a new ballpark and multi-use venue that the City of Madison is constructing at the 500-acre Town Madison development.

On May 11, BallCorps had received permission for relocation from the Southern League in a unanimous vote by the league’s Board of Directors. The final step in the process is a review of approvals by the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball and the issuance of a “Non-Objection” letter, anticipated soon.

“From the first day we visited Madison, we set our sights on this region as the ideal market for our franchise,” BallCorps Managing Partner and CEO Ralph Nelson said. “In our initial meeting last April, Mayor Paul Finley told us that as long as the project benefited Madison citizens, the city was interested in a partnership with BallCorps. Since that day, it has been an amazing collaboration between BallCorps and Madison, along with the Breland Companies, the master developer of Town Madison, Madison County and so many others.”

BallCorps and Madison have organized a community event for the venue’s groundbreaking ceremony on June 9 at 5 p.m. at the stadium site off Zeirdt Road and I-565 in Madison. The public is encouraged to attend the event featuring free food and family fun, along with a commemorative gift for all in attendance.

BallCorps has announced that the President of Minor League Baseball, Pat O’Conner, and President of the Southern League, Lori Webb, both will participate in the groundbreaking ceremony, along with local dignitaries.

BallCorps also announced that attendees at the community groundbreaking event will be offered the first opportunity to submit ideas in the “Name the Team” contest. At the conclusion of the ceremony, a randomly selected contest participant will be chosen to receive four complimentary box seats for Opening Day 2020. Only those in attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony will be eligible to win.

All members of the public will be invited to participate in the Name the Team contest, beginning June 10, on a website to be announced at the ceremony. The team name will be announced in the fall at another community event.

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