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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

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Oct 1, 2021 - Sports

NWSL in crisis after sexual harassment, abuse allegations

North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley talks to his team in 2020. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

After years of silence, NWSL players are speaking up — detailing cases of harassment and abuse, often at the hands of male coaches.

Driving the news: The North Carolina Courage fired coach Paul Riley on Thursday amid allegations of sexual coercion that span over a decade and involve multiple teams.

Updated 43 mins ago - World

17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

American officials and authorities in Haiti are working to try and free 12 adults and five children from a U.S.-based missionary group kidnapped in Port-au-Prince over the weekend, AP reported Monday.

The latest: Christian Aid Ministries said in a statement Sunday, "The group of 16 U.S citizens and one Canadian citizen includes five men, seven women, and five children." The Ohio-based group said they were on a trip to visit an orphanage when they were kidnapped Saturday.

China's economic growth slows

A worker assembles heavy truck engines in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang Province, on Monday. Photo: Long We/Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

China's economy grew 4.9% in the third quarter of 2021 compared with a year earlier, the country's National Bureau of Statistics announced Monday.

Why it matters: The gross domestic product growth in the July-September quarter in the world’s second-largest economy marked the "weakest pace since the third quarter of 2020 and slowing from 7.9% in the second quarter," Reuters notes.