Saturday, October 27, 2012

League Owners Meetings - Fall 2013 - Fun for all!

Now that the off-season is here, and life settles into a little more normal routine (than versus the season, where "routine" is up at 7 AM and at the ballpark until almost midnight.), a priority returns to blogging. A lot of our franchise's development has been captured here - looking to continue that for the 2013 season.

It is hard to believe that about three years ago, I attended our first league owners meetings at the Hotel Monaco in Portland. It has become a trip that I look forward to, because for the most part I have become friends with the other owners and GMs in the league. It is a great opportunity to catch, learn what went well (and what didn't) in there market, and get a true vibe for the health of the league.

Proof I was there.
This year the fall meetings were held in the Mia Hamm building on the Nike campus in Beaverton, OR. So far, my favorite meeting place. Our conference room was the Buckeye conference room adjacent to Mr. Knight's offices. Wow. My 9-old boy dreams of seeing where Spike Lee and Michael Jordan made the magic happen came true. Apparently, Phil himself stopped in to say hi, but since the league was discussing a proposal that John (Stanton) and I had made, we were out of the room as they discussed it, so I missed that treat. The campus is phenomenal - Nike is the king of brand cohesion. What made the trip extra-special was that it was arranged that we could shop in the Nike Employee Store. I give my wife a hard time when she shops - she seems to ignore the budgets we prepare ahead of time. Well, I am just as bad when the store is the Nike Employee Store. A big thank you to the Corvallis Knights and Nike for arranging that. Check out the picture I snapped of the center of campus as we were walking around after the meetings.

We welcomed (3) new owners this fall to the league - Jerry Walker (who owns/operates the S-K Volcanoes of the NWL, a minor league affiliate of the SF Giants) and purchased the Klamath Falls Gems; CSH (represented by Gary Gelinas), which now owns Medford (soon to announce a new team name); and John McLean, who is the managing partner for the new Victoria HarbourCats. The new blood is refreshing and all three have experienced success in their respective fields - I look forward to working with them off the field to make the league even stronger than it has become in the past three years.

The divisions will be re-aligned again - with the addition of Victoria and Medford, it has created a more North/South tilt than East/West, and with future expansion likely to be more North/South, it makes sense to put in a structure now that will be able to support that expansion in the future. In the next week or so we should find out where Walla Walla, a border town, ends up.

The league is in good shape - the players are better, the stadiums and markets are better, and there are some really accomplished and intelligent business people in that room - more so than you find in most professional leagues. 2013 should be a great year.


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