Report: New Jersey Cardinals to State College, PA?

The New Jersey Cardinals might be moving to State College, PA for the 2006 season and beyond.

According to a report that appeared in the New Jersey Herald on Sunday, the New Jersey Cardinals might be moving to State College, PA next season.

Despite signing a new two-year lease and developmental contract prior to this season with the St. Louis Cardinals, principal owner Barry Gordon told the newspaper that he is entertaining an offer from a potential buyer who plans to move the Cardinals.

"When people approach me with a bid, it's my obligation to the rest of the partners to listen," Gordon told the Herald. "Nothing's been decided."

Gordon said that he has received about six bids over the last three years.

"Right now, we're the New Jersey Cardinals," Gordon said. "But who knows what is going to happen in the next nine months? I get approached all the time, and we're still here."

A new 6,000-seat stadium is being built in State College, Pennsylvania that will be shared by the Penn State baseball team and a NY-Penn League baseball team, which will be led by the ownership group of the Altoona Curve, the Double-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The stadium, which will be named Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, will include a variety of seating options, along with Penn State coaches' offices, minor league administrative offices and clubhouses for Penn State, a minor league team and visiting teams. The project is believed to have cost $24-26 million.

Construction of the new ballpark is expected to be complete in June 2006. However, if proposed changes to the structure of the minor leagues go through before next season, the NY-Penn League season will begin in May, rather than June. It is unclear at this point what would be done about this problem.

The New Jersey Cardinals, who have been the short-season Class A affiliate of the Cardinals since 1994, play at Skylands Park in Augusta, NJ.

According to the Herald, attendance at Skylands Park has declined every year since 1995, including a franchise-low 115,129 last season. Season ticket holders are dwindling and so is revenue.

"Let's put it like this: the team is not making money," Gordon said.

A team official also said that the ballpark violates several minor league regulations, and resources aren't available to fix it.

The Williamsport Crosscutters, who are also believed to be in discussions, share the same affiliation (Pirates) as the Altoona Curve.


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