UPDATED 1:01pm: Futures League commissioner Chris Hall responded to my request for comment, saying: “We hope the Brockton Rox will be a member of the FCBL for the 2012 Season and beyond. Campanelli Stadium would be the crown jewel of stadiums in all of Summer Collegiate Baseball. We feel that the Summer Collegiate model works well with former professional franchises and the city of Brockton would benefit from such model.”
ORIGINAL REPORT: On Saturday, the Brockton (MA) Enterprise reported that the Brockton Rox, the city’s Can-Am baseball franchise, would be sitting out the 2012 season due to financial issues. But the Rox’s demise may provide an inlet for a summer college baseball league to establish itself in the southeastern Massachusetts city.
According to the Enterprise, the Rox ownership group missed their year-end lease payment on Campanelli Stadium. Miles Wolff, commissioner of the Can-Am league, stepped in and made the payment for the team. The Rox then announced that they would bow out of play for the upcoming season, retaining the rights to rejoin the independent league in 2013.
The Rox are now pursuing a team in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. Team officials believe that fielding a team in that league would be a less expensive option than staying in the Can-Am league, and will fulfill their lease terms on Campanelli Stadium.
Futures expansion to Brockton, a city 24 miles away from Boston, is far from a done deal. The Rox’s lease with the Brockton 21st Century Economic Development Corporation (the stadium’s ownership group) stipulates that professional baseball be housed at the stadium.
The Futures league’s closest current franchise to Brockton is the newly formed Wachusett Dirt Dawgs in Leominster, Massachusetts (about 64 miles away.)