Does this sale take place. It's look less and less likely by the day. It may be that Bryan Bostic and Richmond Baseball LC have been able to clear everything between them and the Defenders except for dollars. And without those dollars -- bye bye deal.
That's not even mentioning the battles that still have to be waged in city and state government. A call for a referendum has been made in Richmond, but it's token. It has no influence on what happens. If the Mayor says it's good to go and there's a team that's it.
Bostic's group gave Richmond until Aug. 1 to the Mayor's office OK the development plan that includes the new stadium they want. But his group received a deadline that same day to have the team purchased and approved to relocate, which is really a non issue once the purchase is done.
However, this has been dragging on for months with a whole lot of "we're close" talk coming from Richmond.
What I think we're seeing is EL President Joe McEacharn going to Virginia this week to help drum up more support (dollars) but making it look like his baseball's herald there as an all-is-good sign. But it clearly isn't.
Minor League Baseball and the Eastern League forced this sale process to happen and it may blow up in their faces. If so, someone besides Bostic takes the fall. That's McEacharn. It rolls down hill, if you know what I mean, and McEacharn is standing at the foot of the hill.
So what happens if this does come apart in the next week, which is when Lou DiBella says this will be settled one way or another? Does the team stay and Bostic or someone else try to buy and move the Erie SeaWolves? Maybe. The more likely scenario is another Richmond ownership group emerges, probably one that the taxpayers of Richmond take to more kindly than Bostic and co. If not, DiBella may have to remain as owner and move the team to Richmond. I can't imagine MiLB would say no provided Richmond-area partners came on board.
It's just hard to imagine the team staying after everything its been through in recent months, with the proposed sale being out there for several months. Plus, with attendance being what it's been -- despite increases the last two years -- and a loss of advertising, the team may never recover if it stayed.
If I'm a proponent of the Defenders staying, then I go to as many games as possible and bring a friend to every game I attend.
Who's to say right now? What we do know is McEacharn and Bostic are still saying the deal is almost done. DiBella says it isn't.
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