Fans have reason for cautious optimism with attendance figures indicating a renewed interest in the re-modeled Australian Baseball League (ABL). Overall a total of 112,496 people passed through the turnstiles during the 160-game season, an increase of more than 24,000 from the previous year.
The Sydney Blue Sox were formed when the Australian Baseball League was relaunched in a partnership with Major League Baseball in 2010/11. MLB has since redirected its funding into other areas of player development, forcing the ABL to re-assess their approach to professional baseball. After several years of decline, the league has adopted a private ownership model, which in Sydney’s case has reinvigorated the Blue Sox fan experience and brought the fans back in droves.
The Adelaide Bite were formed as a part of the relaunched Australian Baseball League in 2010. Like the other founding clubs (Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney), the Bite were centrally owned until the 2018/19 season when a private ownership model was adopted across the league. In somewhat of a coup for baseball in South Australia, the Bite were bought by the Adelaide Crows AFL club.
The third annual Stadium Journey convention was held this week in New Orleans. What else do you do when in one of the biggest party cities in the world? Why, you record a podcast, of course. Special guests crash the party and a great conversation is had about the future of Stadium Journey, what North American sports look like to an Austrailian, how stadiums Down Under compare, and what to look for in terms of stadiums when you visit the Big Easy.
The Stadium Business Summit for 2018 was recently held in the UK at Old Trafford, home of Manchester United. Numerous Australian venues received nominations including Optus Stadium in Perth, Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, ANZ Stadium in Sydney, and Adelaide Oval.
The Australian Baseball League (ABL) is undergoing huge changes with expansion and private ownership for the 2018/19 season. This week the league confirmed the long-rumoured addition of a team from New Zealand. With the backing of Baseball New Zealand, the new team is likely to play out of North Harbour Stadium.