West Coast Collegiate Baseball League Joins Summer Collegiate Baseball Association; Partnership to Grow WCCBL, Which Saw 53 Percent Attendance Increase in '06
Jan 2, 2007
PORTLAND, Ore. (Jan. 3, 2007) -- The independent West Coast Collegiate Baseball League (WCCBL) today announced it's joining two high-profile summer wood-bat leagues -- the Northwoods and Coastal Plain -- in the Summer Collegiate Baseball Association (SCBA), becoming its sole western representative.
According to WCCBL commissioner Jim Dietz, there are many long-term benefits to the move, including the opportunity to leverage the very successful promotions base of both leagues and be a part of cooperative corporate agreements with major national sponsors. Already, the WCCBL's sponsor list has included Nike, which backed the league's first-ever all-star game last July.
"Oregon State's national title definitely put Pacific Northwest baseball on the map, while at the same time upping the WCCBL's stature -- with 14 guys on that championship roster having played in the league," said Dietz.
"But this partnership takes us to the next level, as we can now tap into two leagues 2,000 miles away, two leagues with more than two decades of knowledge and success," he continued. "This regional synergy in sports is hard-to-find; and, as we've found, is rather unique in baseball outside the major leagues."
The SCBA partnership is the second big piece of news to come from the WCCBL in the last several weeks. In November, the Aloha Knights announced it would be relocating to nearby Corvallis, Ore. The move underlines the WCCBL's strength in connecting with rural markets. The league's seven other community-friendly teams are located in Spokane, Wenatchee, Moses Lake, Kitsap, Bellingham -- all in Washington State -- as well as Kelowna, B.C. and Bend, Ore.
The WCCBL's third season starts June 14.
More on SCBA Partners, WCCBL's Recent Success
The presidents of the Northwoods League (established in 1994) and the Coastal Plain League (established in 1997) -- Dick Radatz and Pete Bock -- both believe in the direction the association is going.
"We didn't invent summer-league baseball. However, I do think we invented the concept of making summer-league baseball a business," said Radatz. "The WCCBL is a progressive, growing like-minded league that will add strength to our association. And it's also a great fit geographically."
"The member leagues of the SBCA have revolutionized collegiate summer baseball," said Bock. "With record-breaking attendance and a growing number of professional and major league alumni, I foresee a very bright future for the entire association."
In 2006, the WCCBL saw more than 100,000 total fans come through its gates, an increase of 53 percent increase over its inaugural campaign. That second-year number puts it ahead of the best-attended summer collegiate league in the country, the Northwoods, which hit the 100,000-fan mark in its fourth season. This summer, the Northwoods League attracted nearly 800,000 spectators -- more than the Pioneer League and Appalachian League, both of which are MLB-affiliated professional minor leagues.