For Adelanto, Winning Isn’t Everything & Losing Second Team Proves That Principle

Deteriorating field conditions and growing fan apathy have prompted Yardbirds Baseball Team owner Andrew Dunn to depart from Adelanto Stadium. Dunn, who is also the owner of the independent Pecos League in which the Yardbirds compete, has given indication that he was prompted to leave the stadium because he was consistently losing money throughout the season.
Dunn took the action in July, electing to have the team play all of its home games on the road. Now, with the Yardbirds in the playoffs, Adelanto is once again being denied the opportunity to host another championship team.
His efforts to engage Adelanto officials in a meaningful dialogue were futile, Dunn indicated.
In large measure the city has neglected the field.
Though the Yardbirds lost their last home game in Adelanto, 6-4, to the Tucson Saguaros, the team did remarkably well while they were in place in the  City of Unlimited Possibilities.  In 2017, during its inaugural season, the Yardbirds captured the Pecos League championship.
This year, the Yardbirds ran away with the Pacific Division Championship, finishing the season with a 48 win and 16 loss record or a .741 win-loss percentage, 10 games ahead of the second-place finisher. Their record at Adelanto Stadium was 16-5  this year and their record at other venues around the league was 30-13. the team had an impressive division-leading batting average of .314 and a division leading ERA of 4.27.
A bizarre, indeed perverse, curse seems to attend Adelanto Stadium. Just as the Yardbirds had a wonderful record in the last season they played there this year, in 2016, the farewell year for the High Desert Mavericks, that team captured the California League championship, with a record of 82 wins and 58 losses, and then went on to sweep the Visalia Rawhide in the first three games in the five game league championship series. After what was arguably the team’s best performance in its 25-year history up to that point, at the end of the year the team departed what was then called Stater Bros. Stadium, never to return.
The Mavericks came into existence in 1991. At times, the stadium was packed with fans.
Litigation ensued when Adelanto forced the Mavericks’ departure. Main Street California, LLC, the corporate entity that owned the Mavericks, was seeking $11 million from the cash-strapped city. In March, city officials agreed to settle the lawsuit for $3.8 million, by means of a $1.5 million up front payment followed by 24 monthly installments of $95,800 that are set to end in June 2021.
The Yardbirds have managed to remain a going concern for three years, but have never proven a major draw while in Adelanto, as they were seemingly unable to capture the passionate fan base the Mavericks had cultivated. On average 40 to 41 fans were in attendance at the Yardbird’s games in Adelanto. A large number of those were dignitaries or guests who had been comped tickets.
Dunn’s losses were relatively modest, something around $300 to $400 per game.
The city had allowed the field to fall into a state of dishabille, with burned patches of grass and small pits. The field had been compromised in part by the city using the field for venues other than playing baseball, such as rodeos and motorcycle races.

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