A summer baseball league in the Midwest will add two Michigan teams if the university stadiums it’s targeting are able to get liquor licenses.
According to The Detroit News, The Northwoods League, which is for current college athletes in the offseason, is hoping to expand to Eastern Michigan University and Oakland University.
“We have 1.3 billion fans a summer coming to our league,” Northwoods League chair and co-founder Dick Radatz, Jr., said. “The inability to service liquor is the hindrance as to why we’re not in these stadiums already.
“Typically these facilities exist, and they’re under-utilized in the summer, except for some camps. But we’re able to come in as a tenant, them being the landlord, and they can gain revenue.”
Michigan House Bill 4711, sponsored by representative Matt Hall, would amend liquor laws to include the Eastern Michigan and Oakland baseball stadiums as alcohol vendors. If the bill passes, Eastern Michigan and Oakland will be allowed to sell alcohol and rent their baseball stadiums out between the fall and spring semesters, according to Michigan Association of State Universities chief police officer Bob Murphy.
Once school is back in session, the stadiums would no longer have liquor licenses.
“The bill changes are for an expansion of the league, which wants to add teams based out of those stadiums,” Murphy said. “The universities would rent out the baseball parks to be operated by the team, so it wouldn’t be for Eagles or Golden Grizzly games.”
The Northwoods League currently has 22 teams located across Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, North Dakota, Indiana and Iowa.