Preserving Pennsylvania’s Minor League Baseball Teams Will Benefit Our Communities and Economy
State College, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development Executive Deputy Secretary Neil Weaver joined local leaders and lawmakers, the State College Spikes, The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau, and the Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County to show support for the State College Spikes through the #SaveOurSpikes campaign.
The State College Spikes, State College’s only minor league baseball team, are being considered along with 41 other minor league teams to become contracted under a Major League Baseball (MLB) proposal. In December, Governor Tom Wolf sent a letter to MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred and Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem urging them to reconsider the proposal.
“Pennsylvania’s professional baseball affiliates help provide affordable, family-friendly entertainment and improve the quality of life in each of their communities,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “The MLB’s antitrust exemption and exclusive control of local professional baseball operations unfortunately could make this decision life-or-death for these community teams. The MLB needs to do the right thing and recognize the value of community institutions like the State College Spikes that have been part of the league’s success.”
Through charitable events at the team’s stadium, Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, as well as monetary and in-kind donations, the Spikes have given back more than $5 million to the community since the franchise’s inception in 2006, including more than $500,000 over the past year. Additionally, in 2004 Medlar Field at Lubrano Park was constructed with assistance from the commonwealth in the form of a multi-million-dollar Redevelopment Assistance Capitol Program grant.
“The Spikes have long displayed a commitment to the local community and its efforts to raise the profile of minor league baseball in Pennsylvania,” said Executive Deputy Secretary Weaver. “The team is part of this area’s proud sports identity, and has been for nearly 15 years now, boosting the community and the local economy. Today we urge the MLB to reconsider its proposal for the Spikes and many other minor league teams across the country and in Pennsylvania.”
Pennsylvania is home to eight Minor League teams and some of the nation’s oldest and most revered stadiums, each creating memories for Pennsylvanians and visitors, and bringing in critical revenue each year. The proposal would eliminate player development contracts for forty-two Minor League Baseball teams, including in Pennsylvania the Spikes, the Erie SeaWolves, and the Williamsport Crosscutters.
“Since November, countless fans have been asking us how they can help support the Spikes and keep the fun and excitement going past the 2020 season. Now, they can go to SaveOurSpikes.com to show the baseball world how important the Spikes are to our Happy Valley community. Write letters to elected officials to urge their support, be here at the ballpark with ticket plans guaranteed to fit your budget, bring your group out to the ballpark, get your Spikes gear, partner with us to create high-visibility campaigns to highlight your brand, and make sure to display your #SaveOurSpikes promo items proudly,” said Spikes General Manager Scott Walker. “Together, we will show Major League Baseball how much the Spikes mean to our community and how valued our contributions are here in Happy Valley. Let’s #SaveOurSpikes and create even more memories for fans in Happy Valley for years to come.”
For more information about the Wolf Administration’s commitment to economic and community development, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
J.J. Abbott, Governor’s Office, 717.783.1116
Casey Smith, DCED, 717.783.1132