Expedition League team coming to Sioux Falls
Can you bring a new twist to the old ball game?
"It's almost like a circus. I've been to the circus, it's been a while, but I think it's better than the circus," Sioux Falls General Manager Bill Larsen says.
The ten team, summer college baseball Expedition League is banking on it, bringing an expansion club to Sioux Falls this summer.
"I always look at collegiate leagues make sure that they take care of their players. Feeding them right, traveling right, things like that. And some out there don't. These guys have done a great job and so, for me, it's a no-brainer for us," Augustana Head Baseball Coach Tim Huber says.
The yet-to-be-named team will play at Augustana's Karras Park, as did the Sioux Falls Pilots and Gold, summer college league teams that folded after one season.
The difference here, says president and temporary owner Steve Wagner, is that five-year-old league is more established, better funded, with teams run like a professional baseball organization.
"We bring in a front office staff. Every market we're in there is competition for the dollar. So we just work really, really hard to make it great for the fans so that they can't stay away," Wagner says.
Starting with General Manager Bill Larsen, who comes with 25 years of experience in the minor leagues.
"I grew up on Bill Veeck, if that tells you anything. Veeck did not do it on a small scale. I don't either. Ball blasts, horse races, this is an event," Larsen says.
Which would mutually benefit Augustana as it looks to move to Division I.
"I think there are a lot of exciting things that we've kind of chatted about that we would look to do in the way of ballpark improvements," Wagner says.
"These paths are going to run very parallel to what we have going on, what these guys have going on, to expand and progress," Huber says.
If they can deliver on the experience they're promising.
"In 32 nights we're throwing 32 parties." Wagner says.
This new team plans on becoming a staple of summer entertainment for years to come.