No. 10: FAU strikes relationship with the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches
FAU baseball hit the road twice this season for home games. The Owls didn’t go far. The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches opened this spring as the brand new spring training home of the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals. Once the two Major League Baseball teams headed north to start the regular season, the new ballpark, located in West Palm Beach, was searching for tenants. FAU elected to move two of its home games, paying close to $3,000 per game in rent, to the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. The Owls are undefeated in their new home after beating Central Florida and Florida Gulf Coast.
What We Wrote
Why It’s Important
It’s always nice to pick up wins over rival Florida schools – especially schools that went on to play in the NCAA tournament, like UCF and FGCU did. But this story makes our Top 10 not because of what happened this year on the field but rather for the potential implications in years to come. No matter how good the FAU baseball team has been over the past years – only Joan Joyce’s softball team rivals them for best FAU sports team during the John McCormack era – the barely-better-than-a-little-league facility the Owls call home has prevented them from hosting conference or NCAA tournament games.
The relationship with the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches could change that. This year FAU submitted a bid to host an NCAA regional in West Palm. The Owls’ struggles at the end of the season rendered that bid moot. Still, in years to come FAU appears to have a viable location to host a regional or even the Conference USA tournament. Would that improve FAU’s chances of reaching a College World Series? This year, seven of the eight teams in Omaha hosted a regional.
No. 10: Baseball Relationship Ballpark of the Palm Beaches
No. 9: Football Beset by Injuries
No. 8: The Quarterback Battles
No. 7: Schmidt Complex: It’s a Start
No. 6: Buckeye Surprise
No. 5: The Sirens Call
No. 4: One Stormy Week
No. 3: Partridge Fired
No. 2: Forgettable Seasons
No. 1: The Lane Train