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.|
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.