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Joplin looks for alternative uses for Joe Becker Stadium - KOAM TV 7

Joplin looks for alternative uses for Joe Becker Stadium

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

The Joplin Blasters baseball franchise is no more, since a Thursday meeting of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.

The league added a team from Texas and removed the membership of the Blasters, in turn leaving an empty Joe Becker Stadium.

The city of Joplin is seeking alternate uses for the stadium, including the addition of a new team from a different league according to an email from city manager Sam Anselm.

The city spent $5 million renovating Joe Becker Stadium, incurring $2 million in debt. The city pays an annual $150,000 debt payment regardless of if the stadium is in use or not. Thus, filling the stadium with another purpose other than the Joplin Blasters will help alleviate that financial burden.

Several residents we spoke to mentioned the circuses that were held at Joe Becker stadium when they were children.

The city of Joplin took control of Joe Becker stadium as of October 1. No future events are scheduled other than the Premier Baseball tournament which will return in 2017.

"I think it’s important for residents to know that we have a great stadium and the City will vigorously pursue the Blasters organization and its owners to recoup all monetary damages owed to the City.  With regard to the future of baseball at Joe Becker Stadium, the City is looking several options at this point," Anselm said in an email.

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