The St. George RoadRunners Professional Baseball Club, announced recently that they were suspending operations for the remainder of the 2010 Golden Baseball League season.
The reason, poor attendance. Why were people staying away? No beer.
Apparently when the Golden Baseball League was looking into setting up shop in St. George, they encountered opposition from the City and Dixie State College concerning beer sales at the ballpark and ultimately were denied a beer license.
This isn't the first time a baseball league has tried to establish a team in the Southern Utah town. Four different ownership groups have tried to provide professional baseball to the greater St. George community, and all four have failed.
"I know it was a controversial issue, but beer sales was critical to our success here, in terms of increasing attendance, increasing revenue, and as a factor in attracting necessary outside capital investment. It simply makes no sense to operate a minor league franchise without beer sales. Beer concessions comprise about 33 percent of total revenue stream for minor league baseball operations." said Will Joyce, CEO of Hot Corner Baseball.
"We felt strongly that the community would recognize the value of a professional baseball franchise, both to the local residents and to the local business community as a tourist attraction and as a source of community pride Joyce said. Apparently, we were overly optimistic."
I get it, the ballpark was located on a "dry campus". But if the citizens of these smaller Utah communities want to expand their quality of life and bring more entertainment options to their areas of the state, they're going to have to expand their tolerances and loose some of those anti-liquor biases.