There are at least two cities actively exploring the possibility of attracting a Frontier League franchise.
Officials in Franklin, Wis., a suburb about 20 miles south of Milwaukee, are seeking permission to develop a ballpark of 2,500 to 3,000 seats, and the only league mentioned in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story about the project is the Frontier.
"We like that a lot," Mike Zimmerman said when asked about the Frontier League. Zimmerman is the owner of The Rock, a 128-acre sports complex in Franklin that would be the site of the ballpark.
Zimmerman said the ballpark would cost $7 million to $11 million to build and he's seeking financial assistance from the city for the project. The stadium could be open in time for the 2015 season.
The other city talking with the Frontier League is Parkersburg, W.Va., which recently released the results of a survey that showed strong support for a new multipurpose ballpark.
AECOM Technical Services surveyed 1,000 Parkersburg-area residents (half in West Virginia, the other half in Ohio) and 75 percent supported building a ballpark, and 25 percent of 150 businesses surveyed indicated interest in becoming sponsors.
Wild Things owner Stu Williams was in Parkersburg last Tuesday and spoke at a luncheon organized by the Wood County Development Authority's Parkersburg Baseball Study Committee. According to the Parkersburg News and Sentinel, Williams said the Frontier League would like to add a 14th franchise with a permanent home, and that Parkersburg isn't the only city inquiring about filling that spot.
"Once the 14th team comes, then things get more complicated as far as joining the Frontier League," he said.
The second phase of a feasibility study for the Parkersburg project - focusing on locations and financing - will begin soon.
"Whatever we're going to do, we're going to do in the next few months," Parkersburg mayor Bob Newell said.
One thing has already been determined: If the city gets a Frontier League franchise, "Parkersburg" won't be in the team name. It will be either "Ohio Valley" or "Ohio River" to attract a regional following.
One other nugget from the News and Sentinel story is that Williams has at least some interest in putting a women's softball team in Parkersburg:
And if the ballpark is built, it might one day be home to more than a baseball team.
Starting this year, the Wild Things will share Consol Energy Park with the (Pennsylvania) Rebellion, a new member of the four-team National Pro Fastpitch women's softball league.
"This is the highest level of play in the United States," Williams said.
As part of the deal to bring the Rebellion into the NPF, Williams also obtained the rights to eventually have teams in other areas.
"I do have the rights to Parkersburg," he said.