The New York-Penn League announced Tuesday that it plans to relocate one of its existing franchises, Class A – Short Season professional baseball league, to Morgantown, according to a news release from the New York-Penn League.
The league plays a 76-game season from mid-June through early-September. Officials said this abbreviated schedule allows a league franchise to share a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility with West Virginia University's baseball team.
"The New York-Penn League is thrilled to announce its intent to bring a professional baseball franchise to Morgantown, West Virginia for the 2015 season," said New York-Penn League President Ben Hayes. "The New York-Penn League is already established as one of the premier leagues in all of Minor League Baseball (averaging over 1.7 million fans each season over the past decade), and by adding the vibrant northern West Virginia regional community and a top-notch facility that it would share with West Virginia University, we know the New York-Penn League will continue to reach new levels of success."
The ballpark will be located in the University Town Centre development and will be home to the WVU baseball team and a New York-Penn League franchise affiliated with a Major League Baseball club, according to the news release.
Currently, four league clubs share facilities with colleges and universities, officials said.
"Morgantown's population, demographics and corporate community assets make it one of the best small cities in America to call home," said Pat O'Conner, President & CEO of Minor League Baseball. "The addition of a New York-Penn League club will give Morgantown yet another resource to enhance the quality of life of its citizens."
Work on the new ballpark is expected to start in 2014, with a New York-Penn League club potentially playing its first game in 2015 at the new facility, according to the news release.
The new ballpark is expected to break ground in 2014 with a New York-Penn League club potentially playing its first game at the new facility in 2015.