Louisville is safe at home.
The city of Louisville is taking no chances that it could be impacted by a possible new deal between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball that would require city owned minor league stadiums to be upgraded to whatever standards that Major League Baseball is setting. The Triple A International League Louisville Bats ownership has reached a deal with the city for $8 million of stadium upgrades and the new lease will end in 2038. Louisville thinks the city will get $14 million in rent over that period. The Major League Baseball player development contact with minor league baseball operators ends after the 2020 season and there could be some demands made of approximately 160 cities. Major League Baseball owners more than likely want significant upgrades to the parks used by minor league affiliates and those minor league affiliates generally play at facilities owned by local municipalities. Two cities that will not have to worry about upgrading existing facilities are Wichita, Kansas and Worcester, Massachusetts because new stadiums are being built in those soon to be Triple A cities. Other cities, on all minor league levels, may be asked to kick in money to either build a new facility or renovate an existing venue.
In 1990, an agreement between the Major League Baseball owners and the Minor League Baseball operators transformed Minor League Baseball. All Minor League Baseball team owners had to take a close look at their stadiums to determine if the stadiums met major league requirements. Major League Baseball owners demanded new facilities or significantly renovated facilities with local taxpayers picking up the bill. It all had to be done by the 1994 season. A handful of longtime minor league cities including Elmira, New York, Glens Falls, New York and others did not have the money to upgrade local stadiums and lost teams. That could happen again by 2023.