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A NEW BASEBALL LEAGUE SET TO LAUNCH ALONG THE ATLANTIC
Published April 14, 1998
The Atlantic League, an independent baseball league set to begin this May in the Northeast, "has persuaded five of the six cities on its roster to build new 5,000- to 6,000- seat ballparks almost entirely at the public expense," according to Kirk Johnson of the N.Y. TIMES. A total of $110M in public financing has been committed altogether "for teams that, with only weeks to go before opening day, still exist for the most part on paper." Baseball "experts say that in a market where there is so much major and minor league baseball already, the Atlantic League's ambitions are testing the limit of baseball both as a recreational drawing card and a spur for economic revitalization." The league, roughly the equivalent of Class AA, will have franchises in Atlantic City, Newark and Somerset, NJ; Lehigh Valley, PA; Bridgeport, CT; and Nashua, NH. Former Wall Street bond trader Frank Boulton is league Chair and has "sought out cities" that couldn't get a NAPBL team because of their location and those that had public financing available for economic development and new stadiums (N.Y. TIMES, 4/10).