The Fan's Case For Alignment
The Fan's Case For Alignment
After month's of anticipation the Pecos League has announced that they will be adding the Pecos Bills and West Pueblo Westerners increasing their league to 8-teams. In 2012, the league consisted of 6-teams with the top 4 moving onto the post season. Next year the league will be broken into 2, 4-team divisions. Here's a look at one of the scenarios:
|NORTHERN DIVISION|| SOUTHERN DIVISION|
|Roswell Invaders||Alpine Cowboys|
|Santa Fe Fuego ||Las Cruces Vaqueros|
|Trinidad Triggers||Pecos Bills|
|West Pueblo Westerners||White Sands Pupfish|
In order to keep travel costs low, allow for easy fan travel, and create the foundation for greater rivalries it is in the best interest to keep the teams that are located the closet together in the same division. This would mean the Las Cruces Vaqueros and the White Sands Pupfish would be able to utilize their 67-miles of distance while West Pueblo and Trinidad can take advantage of their 97-miles of separation. The Alpine Cowboys and Pecos Bills would also be able to develop a rivalry with the Pecos Bills being 102-miles away.
Additionally, having the two Colorado teams and two Texas teams in the same divisions can create smaller “bragging rights” games with the Battle of the Tularosa Basin (Cruces/White Sands), Battle of I-25 (W. Pueblo/Trinidad) and Battle of the Borderland (Alpine/Pecos) being easy to market as well generate fan interest.
Using this model, if you take the home cities for the 4-proposed Northern Division teams you get a total of 141,700 residents. Adding together the home cities of the proposed Southern Division teams and you reach 155, 028 residents. Or essentially, an average of 35,425 people in the north and 38,757 in the south. If the Pecos League intends to cash-in on the geographic rivalries the only teams that can be altered in theory are the Roswell Invaders and the White Sands Pupfish. However, doing this would create an addition 20,000 in the market of the Southern Division creating a larger gap in the average fan base.
If you add the total number of available seats of last year's team you get a total of 2,100 in the Northern Division and 2,800 in the Southern. With West Pueblo likely getting a 1,000 seat facility and Pecos bringing a 500-seat stadium to the table the Northern Division would increase to 3,200 available seats with the Southern would increase to 3,300, a difference of only 100 tickets.
If the league decides to go with this proposed alignment the distance between inter-divisions would look something like this:
Roswell fans would not like this scenario, but if you consider that to transplant the Invaders with the Pupfish would increase White Sands total distance between opponents to 1,0009-miles with a 336-mile average.
|Northern Division||Southern Division|
|Pueblo West – 794 miles, 264 avg||Alpin - 671 miles, 223 avg|
|Roswell - 902 miles, 300 avg||Las Cruces – 590 miles, 196 avg|
|Santa Fe - 684 miles, 228 avg||Pecos - 591 miles, 197 avg|
|Trinidad - 600 miles, 200 avg||White Sands – 602 miles, 200 avg|
Lastly, and most importantly, by aligning this way the league would start the season with 2 playoff teams in the same division as well a 1-prior champion. The team with the highest attendance would be in the same division as the team that had the lowest while assuring that no division had to take the responsibility of 2-expansion teams at the same time.
There's no sign of direction the league is going to go in regards to alignment but I believe the fan's case is strong.
Eric Tellez is a contributing writer to LasCrucesVaqueros.com
For more information visit Pecos League of Professional Baseball Clubs LLC. http://www.PecosLeague.com 575-680-2212