BELOIT — When life gets back to normal there still will be major league-affiliated baseball being played in Beloit, according to prospective Beloit Snappers owner Quint Studer.
The uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t shaken the confidence Studer has in Beloit amid speculation that the Snappers could be among the Minor League Baseball (MiLB) teams cut through negotiations of a Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA) with Major League Baseball (MLB).
The PBA agreement between both leagues is set to expire on Sept. 30 and it guides all policies between MLB and MiLB, including player pay for minor leaguers.
In November of 2019, a list of potential teams to be cut from the minor leagues leaked. On April 21, when PBA negotiations resumed, it was reported that both leagues were prepared to reduce the total number of MLB-affiliated teams from 160 to 120. No agreement has been made regarding the PBA and no final list of cut teams has been announced. In a statement issued on April 21, MiLB called recent articles regarding team contraction “largely inaccurate.”
“There have been no agreements on contraction or any other issues,” a league news release said.
Teams on the potential chopping block will be evaluated in-part on location, stadium quality with an emphasis on player amenities and the quality of team ownership, as previously reported by the Beloit Daily News.
Last fall, Studer and the Snappers announced a $34 million downtown stadium project. Stadium construction was delayed from this month until late May or early June due to COVID-19, according to Riverbed Stadium Authority representative John Gackstatter.
Following the Baseball Winter Meetings in San Diego in December of 2019, Studer, along with Beloit businessperson Diana Hendricks and Gackstatter met with MLB officials in New York to go over details of the downtown stadium proposal, Studer said.
“It was a very positive meeting about Beloit,” Studer said. “We wanted to make sure that when we are done, all the requirements are met.”
Hendricks has provided a majority of the private investment for the project. Studer stressed that he felt the Snappers, which are a Class low-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, are in a strong position to maintain a MLB affiliation going forward as aspects related to the team’s sale remains pending.
“We feel very secure about it in that regard,” Studer said. “This is all based on league approval, and I think we’ve been a good citizen of the league.”