The American corporation IBP LLC (which stands for International Baseball Partners) has announced a plan to build a brand new baseball complex on the island of Curaçao. IBP is chartered in the United States with designs to build, own, lease and manage multiple professional baseball complexes around the world. The website of the Limited Liability Corporation says: “Because of baseball’s growing popularity globally, IBP is positioned to develop baseball facilities and project anchors with the potential to positively impact economies and establish valuable partners in international baseball operations.”
The name of the plans is “Project 421”. The name refers to 4 academies in 2 complexes within 1 campus. The project is a ongoing cooperation with the government of Curaçao to create an international baseball headquarters for player development.
Because Curaçao is located in the center of a baseball hotbed, in front of the Venzuelan coast and in an area near (I know it is all relative) the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, and Curaçao produces more MLB player per capita than any other country in the world (1 MLB player per 21,000 inhabitants) the choice seems to be logical. But because of the social and political unrest in Venezuela that country is not a prefered location for a complex like this right now.
Below aerial drawings of the future complex which seems to be located near the airport.
Project 421 area location in relation to the airport.
The project is scheduled for completion in the Summer of 2016 to coincide with the beginning of a new Curaçao Summer League play for international player development.
Right now I cannot find anything about the new Curaçao Summer League. Recently an MLB scout of the Houston Astros was denied access to Venezuela due to new visa regulations. New rules regarding US travelers have been implied. The US is now “excluded from the list of countries benefiting from the non-immigrant visa waiver” accoring to Venezuelan president Maduro.
What I am writing next is pure speculation from my side, but since the relationship between the US and Venezuela has deteriorated and with this new visa rules in place, I will not be surprised if this Curaçao Summer League will take over the role of the Venezuelan Summer League.
To be continued….