Last week, German first Bundesliga club Munich-Haar Disciples held a press conference yesterday in which the club presented the plans for the coming three years.
Chairman Todd Covell, player/coach Mitch Stephan and new hired PR manager David Jauss, informed the local press and answered their questions.
The main announcement was the one that the Disciples has turned into a GmbH or a Limited Company. In this way the club wants to get more professional. The example is the Buchbinder Legionäre from Regensburg. That club is an AG or a Public Limited Company. Fans of the club in Regensburg bought shares so their current stadium could be build. This structure has led to the PLC.
Goal is to establish a boarding school just like the club from Regensburg has. The first step to accomplish this is a “point of support”, which has been established recently. At this point of support young players from the surrounding area of Haar can come to train and to get better. For the club it is a way to see if there is talent in the area. Of course the goal is to persuade those players to join the Disciples. Eventually this should lead to the aforementioned boarding school, which should be the most important source of players for the club. Of course a club can buy players, but no club has endless budgets, so this step is needed.
Now the club will play in the Euro League Baseball in 2016, there must be enough depth in the roster to play the extra games. The point of support/boarding school is also a way to achieve this in the long run.
Another part of the vision of the Disciples is that the club should be able to stay afloat without being depending on private investors. The club wants to make money with selling entrance tickets, merchandise and food. Chairman Covell envisions a game with many fans in the stands in a minor league atmosphere: mascots, bouncing castles, merchandise stands, barbeque joints, ushers that can answer questions about the game. Especially the ushers may be needed as baseball is still a small and unknown sport. According to David Jauss, the club wants to create a family atmosphere, just like the minor league clubs in the USA do. Every game must be a little party. Children must have a good time. This may attract them to play the game and with that the club can grow, both in numbers of members but also in a sportive area when children have enough talent to join the flagship team.
To make things more attractive the club will leave the concept of the double header. It is a common thing in the German Bundesliga to play two games on a Saturday or a Sunday. The Disciples want to split the games: one game on Saturday and one on Sunday. In this way it will be more fan friendly. Fans only need to spend about two or three hours at the ball field on a day instead of seven or eight.
The ultimate goal of the club is to win the German pennant in three years. The only way to do this is to play more games. More games means repetition and that is what makes a player better according to player/coach Mitch Stephan. This is also a reason why the club joined the Euro League Baseball, simply to get better. According to player/coach Mitch Stephan, the youth players of the club have developed very well, so together with some foreign players, the team should be able to make a championship run in three years.
The biggest difference with last season is the roster of the flag ship team. Last year it had only 17 players while there are 27 players on the roster this year. A lot of homegrown players that made the step from the second team are on the roster but also a couple of players that have been acquired by the club.