Yesterday in the article about the history of the California League, I wrote about 2010 plans that optioned a move of the High Desert Mavericks and the Bakersfield Blaze to the Carolina League.
Both teams have a difficult time to stay afloat and currently it is hard to move elsewhere as city councils are not willing to spend money on a multi million dollar ballpark in times of financial hardship.
After 2010 the plans to move both teams were parked. But after a ballpark plan in Bakersfield faltered due to lack of public funding and especially because of lacking private funds the plan reared up again.
Now it seems that during the Winter Meetings there is talk about the old plan again. Something is cooking for sure. It is not sure whether both teams will be moved or if others will, but since the two are financially the weakest, there is a big chance that the teams will move after the 2017 season. If the teams will move to the East Coast, two ballparks must be available. One stadium may be available: the former stadium of the Savannah SandGnats, the team that will start playing in Columbus next season as the Fire Flies.
Personally I hope that the Mavericks will stay in the California League. I saw my first minor league game at their ballpark and my daughters were allowed to throw out the first pitch in that game. Good memories all over.
Fact is that these two teams drew the least fans in the California League in 2015. The Blaze saw 51,789 fans pass the turn stiles and the Mavericks greeted 94.065 fans at the gate. In the rest of the league the attendance per club varied from 121,004 (Visalia Rawhide) to 213,932 (Lake Elsinore Storm).