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2018 NPF Championship Moves Back to Chicago


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#1
SpartanIlliniCub

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The 2018 NPF championship has been moved back to Rosemont, Illinois for the 2018 season.  Rosemont is located just outside of Chicago and is the home of the Chicago Bandits.  The championships will take place from August 16th-20th. 

 

The NPF is also doing away with playoffs!  The two top teams from the NPF regular season will face off in the championship game in August.  A traditional playoff system is not particularly compatible with a five-team league, so the new format fits the league better.  With a traditional playoff system there is also a chance, which has happened in recent history, that the league's most recognizable team USSSA Pride will not play for the championship.  And that is something the league cannot risk! :)

 

I was surprised to read in the article that after the Championship Series was last held in Rosemont in 2013, the NPF owners made a policy forbidding the Championship Series from being played at the home stadium of an NPF team.  WHY WOULD THEY MAKE THAT POLICY?!? My only guess is some spiteful owners were upset that the Rosemont series in 2013 was a success and they wanted to put a stop to it?  Or they couldn't agree on revenue sharing for tickets and concessions, and the only solution was to always have the championships at a 3rd party location?

 

Moving the championship back to Rosemont, Illinois is the only NPF decision over the past several months that has made any sense.  Better to play at a stadium that fans will go to than an empty minor league ballpark in the south that no one goes to. 

 

It should be an interesting season!



#2
CatOsterFan

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Here are some of the Twitter comments to the announcement that the 2018 Championship Series will be at Rosemont, Illinois:

 

@NicoleCushing: Cool! Within driving distance!

@Larry_Strange: YES

@Softballmama65: LOVE that ballpark...and the fact that I can easily get to it! Let's play ball!

@Chibears99: Top 2 teams play for Championship... So, Pride and bandits with the bandits getting homefield advantage..

@Softballfan65: I’ll predict the Bandits and Pride with Pride taking it in 3. All other teams are international and gone! #innovative

 

 

The announcement had 8 comments, 91 likes and 42 re-tweets after 3 days.  I'd say the response is pretty positive so far!



#3
KCSoftball

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Yes, finally Ms Kempf got it right. I pick a Spirit vs Pride final, with the Pride winning in four. 



#4
FaspitchPapa

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It is way better to have a packed game at a 2,000 seat ballpark than an empty 7,000 seat minor league stadium that looks completely empty.  I used to go to a fair amount of Bandits games when they played at Benedictine University in Naperville, Illinois.  The games in August were ALWAYS the best attended.  The games after most travel softball activity ended and before school started were packed.  This championship series window will fall right into that sweet spot, and I bet there will be tons of people excited to attend!  I might even find a way to be there!



#5
KCSoftball

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Yes, and that 7,000 seat stadium is also designed for baseball! Looks like a baseball field all the time! I just don't like a professional softball team playing it's championship on a field like that!



#6
In-the-stands

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This is certainly a step in the right direction for a change.

 

However, is it too little too late?



#7
sballer4life

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I hope not...time will tell.

 

But in any event, this is great news.  The 2013 NPF Championship Series held at the Ballpark at Rosemont was a fantastic success, bringing in packed crowds.  Yes, the capacity of the stadium is only a couple thousand, but visually it looks huge.  And as we have argued incessantly on this board, it only makes sense to hold the championship game on an existing NPF team's home field.  With the recent loss of Firestone Stadium in Akron, the Rosemont stadium stands out as one of the NPF's only two remaining premier stadiums (the other being the Pride's complex in Florida).



#8
fastpitchfan

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I was surprised to read in the article that after the Championship Series was last held in Rosemont in 2013, the NPF owners made a policy forbidding the Championship Series from being played at the home stadium of an NPF team.  WHY WOULD THEY MAKE THAT POLICY?!?

 

You are not alone.  According to then-Bandits-owner Bill Sokolis in 2013, he lobbied hard to host the 2014 Championship Series in Rosemont but was out-voted by the other NPF team owners. Based on the intense rivalry that existed between the Bandits and Pride at the time (the Pride ended up winning the 2013 Championship over the Bandits in one of the hardest-fought series in history), it is possible this rule was meant to block home field advantage for the Bandits in 2014.

 

Perhaps cooler (and more business-savvy) minds have now prevailed.



#9
MammaZord

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This is a good move by the NPF! The Ballpark at Rosemont is really easy to get to—it's right next to O'Hare airport and sits at the convergence of two major expressways. There are many-many hotels right near by. Also, a new minor league ballpark is being built just to the south. Right across the street (and by "street" I mean the I-294 expressway) there is a huge outlet mall and an entertainment district that has a movie theatre, a Zanies, Hofbrauhaus, iFly indoor skydiving, and a handful of other bars and restaurants.  The Big Ten also has their headquarters in the same entertainment district, and they have an interactive "Big Ten Experience" open to the public. 

 

With all these amenities, Rosemont is a great destination for families to make a little mini-vacation to check out the tournament and also enjoy all the cool restaurants, etc. This was a good move by the NPF! I hope they enjoy some big crowds!

 

Also—I promise I do not work for the city of Rosemont, even though this post sounds like a sales pitch  ;)



#10
sballer4life

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I drove past the new Rosemont minor league stadium last week and it looks like it is ready to open—big, bright and modern, it is very impressive!!  The dome next to the softball stadium has also been fixed.  Baseball & softball are obviously a major part of Major Brad Stevens' vision for Rosemont as a center for family fun, recreation and entertainment in the Midwest.

 

The Chicago Bandits are definitely benefitting from his vision.  The USSSA Pride seem to be following a similar path in Florida, becoming part of a larger entertainment package around Disney World.  This may be the wave of the future for NPF franchises, in their quest to become financially viable.






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