A second public meeting was held at the Marietta City Council at Lookout Park Tuesday in regards to bringing an independent Frontier League baseball team to the Mid-Ohio Valley.
The Ohio Valley Redcoats were founded in 1993, the first year of the Frontier League, and played their home games in Parkersburg's Bennett Stump Field at City Park. The field was great for high school games, but was not considered a great facility for a professional franchise. That, along with other factors, led to the departure of the team.
At the meeting Tuesday, Sam Winans, a co-chairman of the sports committee for the Wood County Economic Development Authority, said that the development of a brand new facility would help the Mid-Ohio Valley acquire a team and keep it around for a long time.
"It would be an all-purpose facility," Winans said. "It can really go anywhere in the area, as long as we get this facility."
Currently the Frontier League has two divisions of seven teams, a total of 14 teams. The league wants to expand to 16 teams, which has opened up an opportunity for the Mid-Ohio Valley to be the home of one of them.
Winans said the facility "needs to accommodate at least a 3,000 seating capacity," with about 700-800 parking spots. Ideally, the facility would be located in an area with approximately 20-25 acres for additional development.
Currently, Fort Boreman in Parkersburg is being talked about as a possible location.
The possibility of playing games at Don Schaly Stadium, home of the six-time national champion Marietta College Pioneers, was also brought up, to mixed reviews. "That's almost considered holy ground," said Marietta Mayor Joe Matthews.
No time-table has been set yet for when the stadium will be ready and when the MOV will get a team, but it looks like no earlier than 2015.
"When we had our first couple of meetings with the Frontier League commissioner, they wanted to throw the first pitch here in 2014," Winans said. "I just don't see that happening. We are not far enough along. If we could get this moving, though, it would be great for the community."
While location, along with funding of course, are the main issues in the project, interest from the community seems to be the one sure factor.
"This is a great baseball community," said Terry Tamburini, executive director of the Southeastern Ohio Port Authority. "There is a lot of history here with the Frontier League."