Baseball booster group forms
Two college baseball teams could possibly play at McBean Park, according to Lincoln City Manager Matt Brower at Friday’s Downtown Lincoln Association meeting.
“I’m excited about an economic development opportunity,” Brower said Friday. “We are working with two baseball teams to see if they can relocate to Lincoln.”
Brower said he has been in contact with teams from an undisclosed college.
“We have a lot of work to do with the two teams,” Brower said. “It’s pretty exciting.”
Wayne Sisneroz, president of the Downtown Lincoln Association, said he is a “huge” baseball fan.
“Minor league baseball is great family fun,” said Sisneroz, adding that cross-marketing opportunities would be available. “This is fantastic news. It brings a whole new element to downtown. This is good all the way around.”
Lincoln City Councilman Stan Nader said the level of excitement is huge.
“Already, host families are lining up to host the college players,” Nader said. “This will take a partnership between the city, the citizens and the college. There is so much energy. This is going to happen.”
And a group of Lincoln residents have formed a booster-group to start the process of preparing McBean Park, according to Nader.
Kris Wyatt is the leader of the group that will either be called Friends of McBean Stadium or Friends of Lincoln Baseball.
“We haven’t decided on the exact name yet,” Wyatt said. “It is up for a decision among the group. I’ve been nominated for the position of president or chair. It’s not official yet.”
Wyatt said the group formed over a conversation about baseball.
“One day, Roger Ueltzen and I were in a meeting and we got to talking about how great it would be to bring a team to Lincoln,” Wyatt said. “Tony Asaro, a motivational speaker, was going to be speaking at Rotary and he knows baseball. We asked if he would meet with us and Stan Nader. Tony gave us so much information.
“Then we spoke to a few other people, decided to call a meeting and now we are meeting on a regular basis,” Wyatt added. “There are so many unknowns and we are waiting for some movement, but until then, we will continue to talk and dream.”
Wyatt said work has to be done before any team moves to Lincoln.
“The field has to be prepared and ready for a baseball team, whether a college team and/or a collegiate summer team,” Wyatt said. “The field is the priority.”
Wyatt said she “knew” that Brower “has been meeting with interested groups” but she has not been a part of those discussions.
“We are hoping for a college team to use the field for spring ball and possibly a collegiate team during the summer,” Wyatt said. “There’s been no talk of anyone being associated with a Major League baseball team.”
Wyatt is unaware of a college donating money toward renovating McBean Stadium.
“We don’t know of any money already put forth,” Wyatt said. “There are many unknowns. Money is one, who will prep the field is another. Weather will also affect the timing.”
Although Wyatt would not give the names of any interested colleges, she said that a team may consider relocating to Lincoln if they did not have a ballpark on their campus.
“We have heard from avid sports fans that our area is prime for some good baseball to come to Placer County,” Wyatt said. “And, quite frankly, why not Lincoln? We are pretty much centrally located in Placer County and we have a field that needs some help. We could be a destination.”