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Data: MILB, MLB; Logos: SportsLogos.Net; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Forty-three minor league teams lost their MLB affiliation in 2020's restructuring, leaving some ballparks awaiting new fates.

The state of play: Some teams went independent or joined the new MLB Draft League. But in cities where minor league baseball disappeared, the challenge is now deciding what to do with those sleeping giants — and how to pay for it.

  • Some clubs have welcomed college teams as tenants, some have turned to the exploding youth sports industry, and other stadiums are destined to become multipurpose/concert venues.
  • Of note: Renovating ballparks is expensive (~$5 million), and demolishing them isn't cheap, either (up to $1 million).

Between the lines: A stadium isn't just a stadium. Or at least, it doesn't have to be.

  • Using ballparks to anchor larger real estate development plans has become a more standard practice, even in minor league towns.
  • But that can be risky. Just ask Staten Island, which opened a new outlet mall next to its minor league park in May 2019, one year before the pandemic wiped out the season and two years before its team got swept away in the restructuring.

What to watch: The bipartisan Minor League Baseball Relief Act was introduced in Congress on June 24. If passed, it would provide up to $550 million in funds to minor league clubs.

Explore the map.

Go deeper

Top Spanish soccer league strikes $3 billion deal with private equity firm

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Spanish soccer league La Liga has agreed to sell 10% of its commercial business to CVC Capital Partners for around $3 billion.

The bottom line: "If approved by the league's clubs, the deal could help the league’s cash-strapped teams, including giant ones like F.C. Barcelona, repair their finances and ease a cash crunch caused by the coronavirus pandemic," the New York Times writes.

DOJ sues American Airlines, JetBlue to block "unprecedented" alliance

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Justice Department on Tuesday sued American Airlines and JetBlue to block an "unprecedented series of agreements" that will consolidate the two airlines' operations in Boston and New York City.

Why it matters: The civil antitrust complaint alleges that the planned Northeast Alliance (NEA) "will cause hundreds of millions of dollars in harm to air passengers across the country through higher fares and reduced choice," the DOJ said in a release.

FBI: Body identified as Gabby Petito, death ruled a homicide

A memorial dedicated to Gabby Petito near City Hall in North Port, Fla. Photo: Octavio Jones/Getty Images

A body found in Teton County, Wyoming, on Sunday was confirmed to be the remains of missing 22-year-old blogger Gabby Petito, the FBI announced Tuesday.

Driving the news: The death was ruled a homicide by the Teton County coroner's office, the FBI said. The cause of death has not been determined.