Northwoods League team coming to Dubuque in 2019 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Northwoods League team coming to Dubuque in 2019

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A local non-profit is working to bring Northwoods League baseball back to Dubuque.

Chad Thomas, president of Dubuque's Pony League, says they've been talking with the league for the past couple of years to make it happen.

"We just think it's a natural partnership with the Northwoods League. We knew they were interested in the Dubuque  market, coming back to Dubuque.  And we just think it's a great fit for two organizations that love baseball and are really interested in bringing baseball to our community," Thomas said.

This would not be Dubuque's first Northwoods League Team. The Mud Puppies played in Dubuque at the onset of the Northwoods League, but moved to St. Cloud, Minnesota after a couple of seasons.

But the success of the Dubuque Fighting Saints, who play on the same island the Mud Puppies once did, has many believing a Northwoods League team will be very successful in Dubuque.

"You get that place rocking, it's fun and it's exciting, and you give something for the local crowd to attend and support, and now we just carry that over into the summer, and now you're going to get quality baseball throughout the summer like you get quality hockey over the winter," said Tyler Daugherty with the Dubuque Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

But there's still lots of work to be done.  

The PONY League is currently leasing three baseball diamonds on Derby Grange Road--a complex they say they've outgrown.

They've purchased land near there, hoping to build a complex to house the stadium for the Northwoods League team, as well as a number of other fields to host various leagues and tournaments.

Thomas says they'll need to raise between $5-5.5 million dollars to get it done. He's hoping to raise a lot of that through corporate sponsorships and naming rights.

The move could also bring more jobs to Dubuque, as each franchise usually hires about ten full time employees and dozens of part-time seasonal workers.

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