After two months of service, the president of the Beloit Snappers, Mark Mascharka, has stepped down from the position, leaving the board of directors of the club with a challenge to guide the future of the club.
The ballpark of the Snappers, Pohlman Field is in bad shape, even this bad that it needs to be addressed soon. This is known by both the city of Beloit as MiLB.
For now, it looks like Dennis Conerton will return as president, but only as a short term solution.
According to vice president Jim Agate, “There’s no question we need a new ballpark if affiliated, professional baseball is going to stay here,” Agate said. “We aren’t looking to have it a done deal by December, but we do need to show Minor League Baseball that we’ve made progress on this thing. There are lots of pieces out there right now, and our job is to start putting the puzzle back together.”
Jim Agate stated that the board will try to bring baseball people and business people together in an attempt to get a new ballpark in Beloit. It would be too easy to sell the team and leave a town behind disappointed. But even though the club has until 2020, time is running out as Minor League Baseball has made clear that that Pohlman stadium needs an upgrade at least. But the turnover of the club won’t impress possible investors. Neither will the size of the market, Beloit is in. Rock County where Beloit is located has about 160,000 inhabitants and Beloit even isn’t the biggest town.
Pohlman Field is a typical 80s ballpark with an aluminum grandstand and bleachers. It has zero bells and whistles and is rather outdated. Of course a ballpark is built to see a ballgame at, but a new ballpark would not hurt. In the last ten years, the attendance figures dropped sharply from more than 80,000 in 2007 to a meager 67,000 in 2016 (dead last in the Midwest League).
It may be bad news if only a new ballpark can save the team. New ballparks aren’t something that are accepted that easy by city councils. Of course the board of the Snappers will do everything that is in its power to keep the team in Beloit, but don’t be surprised if the team will be sold and be moved elsewhere.