An argument for bringing baseball back to Iowa State

Iowa State University is a nationally-recognized institution. Many of its collegiate sports have been in the national spotlight on and off for many years for their respectful successes. One sport in particular isn’t in the picture, and hasn’t been for nearly 17 years. I’m talking about men’s baseball, which used to be included on the list of Iowa State’s school-funded sports until it and men’s swimming were cut in the spring of 2001 due to “budget cuts” and Title IX [Which makes sure Men’s and Women’s sports and education are equal in funding] by now-former athletic director Bruce Van De Velde. At the time, ISU Athletics was running a deficit, and cutting the two sports would save $5 million over four years.

Van De Velde also cited challenges to competitiveness: the baseball team had to play on the road for the first two months of the season because of winter weather in Ames.

Since that time, Iowa State has fielded a club baseball team which is now a part of the National Club Baseball Association. They have had their successes and defeats, but these talented ball-players haven’t gotten to experience true college baseball: To play top-tier talent game-in and game-out, and compete to play in the prestigious TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska for the College World Series.

Why does Iowa State not bring back baseball as official sport? One possible reason is; the college baseball season does not start until February, making it nearly impossible to host games in Ames (unless the university built an indoor stadium)–causing the Cyclones to play a majority of their games down south until warmer weather welcomes them back to Central Iowa. Besides this, what other reasons could there be? The fanbase that Iowa State has is second-to-none in loyalty and passion, and giving them yet another beloved sport would increase school revenue after adjustments are made. Anytime you can give a Cyclone fan a chance to go tailgate for a sport, by-golly they will–and they’ll bring the neighborhood.

Iowa State is the only BIG 12 institution that does not field a baseball team. And if universities like Kansas, Kansas State, and even Iowa can deal with inclement weather and still play ball, why can’t Iowa State? Cap Timm Field on the corner of Knapp Street and S. Sheldon Avenue in Ames has recently been renovated and stands ready for action. The other possible reason would be The overall budget for Iowa State athletics totals about $70 Million, and the cost to bring back a baseball program up to par with Big 12 standards would be around $15-22 million. After expenses were taken care of for all the other sports, Iowa State only generates about $200 thousand. This would mean that significant amounts of donor money would be needed to revamp such a project.

It would be a tricky road ahead, but I believe that Iowa State would have more than enough fan support to generate revenue after adjustments are made. This is all speculation for now, but I believe now is the time for Iowa State to reevaluate its budget for a possible return.

I propose that if you are someone who would support the baseball program and attend games, reach out to the university and let them know your thoughts.

Fan support will be a major factor here.

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