A feasibility study about the possibility of a minor league ballpark in Fayetteville had a positive outcome for the city. According to the study 4,500 seat ballpark could be created.
The study also stated that 88% of the interviewed persons said that they would likely go to a game in the new ballpark in the first season, while only 6% said that it was very unlikely that they would attend a game.
The deputy city manager, Rochelle Small-Toney, announced that the Houston Astros have the intention to move a minor league team to Fayetteville and that they want to start negotiating about a possible move to the city in 2018.
Fayobserver.com was even more specific by stating that the Astros are considering to bring an A Advanced team to Fayetteville.
The affiliation of the Lancaster JetHawks with the Houston Astros will end after the 2016 season. As there has been talks about moving two Cal League teams to the Carolina League and since the Astros have expressed interest to move their A Advanced team to the East Coast, it may very well be that the JetHawks may be the victim here. But nothing is engraved in stone yet. Since the player development contracts of most California League teams will expire after the 2016 season, perhaps, the Astros may buy the Bakersfield Blaze or the High Desert Mavericks. Both teams were projected as main candidates to move to the East Coast, 5-6 years ago. Next to that, the Astros have expressed the wish to own a team. So everything is possible here.
One of the consultants that created the feasibility study, Dan Barrett, described Fayetteville as a below-average market for population and income for minor league baseball, but it’s a good geographic fit for either the Carolina League (A Advanced) or South Atlantic League (A Full Season). He said Fayetteville has few entertainment options: “It is a good market for minor league baseball,” Barrett said. “Because of the limited competition, we think the project could succeed.”
Nothing is engraved in stone yet, as written above, but if the Astros will move a California League team to the Carolina League, it will have an impact on one other Cal League team as well. Otherwise both leagues will get stuck with an uneven number of teams.