It's not a new idea, but it's back up for planning: the independent Atlantic League is once again looking at starting a second circuit that would focus on smaller venues and funnel players to the existing league.
At one point there were discussions with the independent Can-Am League about serving this purpose, but the parameters of such a deal never move past talk. And while it would make some sense to do the same sort of thing with the four existing Can-Am League teams, it sounds like the efforts will be focused on markets like Atlantic City, where a suitable ballpark is in place but history tells us all that a full-fledged Atlantic League team won't work.
Whether there are enough markets to make this work remains to be seen: the problem with such a plan is that summer-collegiate leagues have pretty much scrarfed up most of the markets (Elmira, Nashua, Pittsfield) where such an Atlantic League effort could work. And shooting for an economic niche above the Can-Am League but below the Atlantic League will be threading a really fine needle: finding six markets to meet this criteria will be a lot of work on short notice if a 2013 launch is feasible. But then again, the Atlantic League is on a roll, so we'll never dismiss any of their efforts out of hand.
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