Citing increased hotel costs, decreased fan support and an expensive ballpark lease (relatively speaking), the independent Pecos League has pulled the Invaders out of Roswell.
The website for the Roswell Invaders brags about how the team paces the Pecos League in attendance and merchandise sales, but apparently things have gone quite sour this year for the team. According to a press release issued by the team,
The Invaders support has been much lower this year than in 2011. The Invaders had a faithful following that were at nearly every game last year, none of which have returned this year. The Pecos League is faced with a tough decision when the Frontier Motel decided to double hotel rates for the rest of the season due to the UFO Festival. The Invaders have a stadium lease which is five times higher than any stadium lease in the league. These are obstacles that the Pecos League cannot overcome. The Pecos League is beginning to move home games out of Roswell.
Yes, you know things are bad when you're paying players $50 a week and your entire fan base -- every single one of them -- refuses to return to Joe Bauman Park.
As a result, the Invaders will be playing on the road for the remainder of the season, though a neutral site may be secured for a July 18-22 series.
"We aren't generating enough revenue to keep games in Roswell," said Pecos League Commissioner Andrew Dunn. "We will regroup and attempt to get a deal that will allow baseball for 2013. There is no chance for 2012. The conflicts and power struggles locally have lead this team in downward spiral from May 1. It is amazing how Roswell was the best team in the league in 2011 and overnight they are the worst. I will review all options and make the best decisions for the Roswell Invaders for the 2013 season. We will completely regroup and turn this team around this year. We will have eight teams in 2013 and I hope to have Roswell as one of them. We will have to completely regroup on all aspects. For this season once again the City of Alamogordo has bailed out the Pecos League. They are going to allow us to play the rest of the games for no charge."
Of course, Roswell officials may not be too eager to do business with the Pecos League after comments like this distributed by the team in a press release:
Ryan Stevens, head coach, Alpine: "Move as many home games as possible out of Roswell, the fans don't care about baseball and don't respect this league. Our team was not treated professionally this season."
Casey Dill, head coach, Las Cruces: "That hotel is a disaster to begin with, Roswell is the worst place I have been to yet. "
Yeah, those are the sorts of statements a city leader would find endearing as the two sides negotiate a 2013 lease: this city and hotel really suck, but we'd love to come back.
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