It takes six figures to run an IBL ball team - nothing chump change about those dollars

sportsgold 100x100By Pepper Parr

September 12, 2017



After winning their first game of the season, well into the season the Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) Guelph Royals ownership decided to fold their tent.

The biggest reason was financial.

IBL_Horizontal_LogoIntercounty Baseball League commissioner John Kastner introduced the new owners of the Guelph Royals during a press conference Monday. The team will return to the league in 2018.

Burlington’s entry in the league, the Herd didn’t make it out of the quarter finals in the 2017 season. Our interest in the Royals situation is to give readers a sense of what it takes to run a baseball team in the league.

The Royals have been purchased from Jim Rooney by businessman Shawn Fuller along with Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie.

Fuller, who grew up in Guelph and now lives in Kitchener, has had a life-long relationship with the Royals and added “you can see my mom’s house” from the ballpark.

“To be clear, this is a passion project,” Fuller told Guelph Today. “I don’t see it as a money maker. I see it as doing something for the love of the game.

“It’s a six-figure budget to do this thing and to do it right …. I’m sure this thing loses money its first year, two years of operation. But we’re here to weather the storm. We’re here to build it.”

Royals ownership

New Guelph Royals owners Cam Guthrie, left, and Shawn Fuller, middle, pose with IBL commissioner John Kastner at Hastings Stadium Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. Guthrie as Mayor of Guelph has got his photo ops set for the year. Photo by Tony Saxon/GuelphToday

Fuller and Guthrie take over a team that ceased operations in June after going 1-15 to start the season. The team had struggled for several years and also took a leave of absence in 2011.

Fuller, who worked in sales with BlackBerry for 10 years, is the owner of Canadawide Sports, a sports equipment distribution company that operates out of a 65,000 square-foot facility in St. George.

Kastner said Fuller contacted him the day after Rooney informed him he was folding the team and the process to get baseball back in Guelph began that day.

The six figure budget was what caught our attention. If that is what the owners of the Herd are putting into the team – our hats are off to them.



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