“Due to a series of failed commitments by the Florida Winter Baseball League (FWBL) to the Global Scouting Bureau (GSB), we have chosen to announce a formal separation from the client,” the GSB press release states.
Web sites for the Miami Diamantes and Lake County Black Bears are still operating, although they also feature the press release. The web sites for the Seminole County Naturals and Space Coast Surge have been parked with GoDaddy.com, meaning they’re shut down for now.
The FWBL.com web site is still active, but some photos are missing. (Many appear to be photos provided by SpaceCoastBaseball.com.)
“GSB was hired as the management company to oversee formation, staff hiring, and eventual daily operations of the FWBL,” the press release states.
Nothing official has been announced yet about whether the league will continue operations.
If the plug’s been pulled, you may want to click here to access the league’s final stats. Lake County at 11-4 would be the league champion, I guess. The Surge finished 2-13.
League officials stated before the season began that their economic model assumed an average attendance of 750 per game. Many observers privately thought that number was wildly optimistic. The current average is 367, about half of that assumption, but it seems awfully early to be giving up. By January, when the league would be entering the final days of the pennant race, high school and college football would be over, the operations would be established, so perhaps they’d get more coverage in local papers that might result in increased attendance.
The GSB press release doesn’t say anything about not being paid, so we don’t know if that was one of the “failed commitments.” If it was, though, that suggests the investors failed to adequately capitalize the league to survive even a poor early return.