Secretly, you've always wanted to own your own sports franchise. Haven't you? Well, now you have the opportunity to do just that for just the low introductory price of $100.
It’s only part-ownership, but it's Mayor Ryan Bingham compares it to real life fantasy baseball.
"It's very cool, like fantasy baseball meets real life, where you have a vested interest," he said.
The city of Torrington and Our Baseball Haven are creating what they said is the first community-operated baseball team in the United States. This is a new and creative way to operate a baseball club that is based off of an English soccer team, the Ebbsfleet United Football Club.
But you have to act fast. For this to happen, the city needs 900 members by Sept. 15. That would bring in enough money to bring a New England Collegiate Baseball League team back to the city as early as next summer. The NECBL is a wooden bat baseball league comprised of college players from around the country, very much like the famed Cape Cod League, and there are teams in just about every New England state, Bingham said.
“I would urge everyone in Torrington to look into becoming a member of our new team and to get in on the ground floor of this extremely unique opportunity,” Bingham said.
Annual membership dues are $100 per person. Members can sign up through the e-commerce portion of OBH’s Web site. Members receive full voting rights on all team-wide decisions except on-field decisions. All voting and communications will be run through one interactive Web site. You can also learn more on the blog.
Originally, the league was planned for New Haven, but has moved to Torrington. The primary factor was securing a field for the games that met all of the criteria for the league and business model, according to the Web site.
OBH’s goal is to get enough members to cover all operating costs for the team. A large portion of additional revenue from ticket sales, vendors and concessions will be funneled back into the community.
Bingham also hopes that this will be a chance to show off Torrington and get people out into the community and dining in the local restaurants.
"It's a new chaper for baseball in Torrington and we are really excited about it," he said.
In a day and age when the little guy is getting priced out of pro stadiums and the chasm continues to grow between players and their fans, what a great opportunity this presents to be part of something so fresh and innovative. So, go ahead and become a member.