|TRAFICANT, James A., Jr.,|
March 19, 1998
Youngstown, Ohio – U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant, Jr. (D–OH) announced
today that the governing body for minor league baseball has approved the
move of the Erie (PA) SeaWolves to Niles, Ohio. Approval yesterday
by the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (NAPBL) was
the last major hurdle facing the project.
"I am thrilled by yesterday's vote," said Traficant, who has been working for the past year to bring baseball to the Mahoning Valley. Traficant spearheaded the negotiations that led to an agreement under which the Cafaro Corporation will construct and operate a 6,000-seat stadium near Eastwood Mall in Niles. The Cafaro Corporation will privately finance construction of the stadium, estimated to cost about $8 million. The Cafaro Corporation will sell the site to Niles for one dollar and then lease the property from Niles. Niles will provide up to $1 million worth of in-kind services.
The facility will be the new home Class A Erie (PA) SeaWolves. Erie is to get a Class AA team. The SeaWolves play in the New York-Penn League. Construction of the facility must begin by this summer so that it is ready for the start of the New York-Penn League's 1999 season. In addition to minor league baseball, Youngstown State University has agreed to rent the facility for its men's baseball games. Other possible uses include local high school playoff baseball games, concerts and fairs. The SeaWolves are owned by Alan Levin, president of Palisades Baseball, Ltd.
Approval by the NAPBL of the SeaWolves' move from Erie to Niles was needed because Niles is in the territory of the Class AA Akron (OH) Aeros. According to Traficant, the only remaining obstacles are approval by Howland Township of the annexation of the land, and the signing of a lease agreement between Alan Levin and the Cafaro Corporation. Traficant is confident that the annexation and signing of a lease agreement will come off without a hitch.2009