Friday, September 29, 2006

Spirit Will Stay in Lynn in 07-Lopardo Too!!!

Hey Joe, looks like Lynn Item got one right for once

Spirit announce their return to Fraser FieldBy Steve KrauseFriday, September 29, 2006After telling the CanAm League last week that he was leaving Lynn, North Shore Spirit owner Nick Lopardo has had a change of heart.
The Spirit will return to Fraser Field in 2007.
Lopardo made the announcement Thursday at the conclusion of the two-day league meetings in Brockton.
"I had every intention (of leaving)," Lopardo said yesterday. "I didn't think it (staying) was going to work.
However, he said, there was a flurry of meetings between Lopardo and Lynn officials, and he has received assurances that the city will do everything it can to rectify parking issues -- created when Manning Bowl (which is adjacent to Fraser Field) was leveled and rebuilt -- that plagued the team during its recently-completed season.
"We intend to hire a project director for the second half of the construction," Mayor Edward "Chip" Clancy said. "That person will be on site, and have the technical knowledge of how to meet the different needs of a construction yard in concert with a business, like the Spirit, that needs parking facilities."
Prior to the razing of Manning Bowl, The Spirit had a large parking lot in the spot beside the stadium, where the old East Lynn Little League field stood. But that land was taken after the bowl was torn down and the orientation of the football field was changed. The Spirit went through the entire 2006 season without those spaces.
Next year, the second phase of the project (the building of the stadium facilities on the site of the new Manning Field) should be well under way by the time the Spirit start.
"We have no guarantees," Lopardo said, "But I'm confident that this situation will be ironed out until we see the new paved parking lot."
"This is great news for Lynn," Clancy said. "Nick has put his heart and soul - and his money - on the line, and the City of Lynn has done everything it could to be a good landlord.
"Like any landlord-tenant relationship, there are issues. But they're small when you look at it in relation to the cooperation between the city, and Nick and his staff."
Lopardo, a hands-on owner ("I've done everything including cleaning toilets and cleaning the stands"), said the best thing to come out of his meetings with the city was "listening and hearing from people, and knowing that there's a serious commitment to solve our issues."
"People are indicating they want the Spirit here," he said. "I think we can go a long way toward making the franchise I always thought it could be in Lynn."
Lopardo purchased the Waterbury (CT) Spirit in 2002 and brought the team to Lynn. He vowed, at the time, to provide family-style entertainment to the city - something he has done with many promotional events, fireworks, and a keen eye toward recognizing local people and youth sports teams for their accomplishments.
He also tapped into the region's fierce loyalty to the Boston Red Sox, hiring ex-players John Kennedy (manager), Rich Gedman (third base coach) and Dick Radatz (pitching coach).
Of the three, only Kennedy remains at Fraser. Radatz died three years ago, and Gedman now manages the Worcester Tornados.
Lopardo also tapped into the local baseball scene as well, hiring both Frank Carey and Jim Tgettis as coaches.
"We are looking forward to continuing to stay visible and involved," Lopardo said. "I still have the one goal left that I said I was going to: bring a championship here."
He came close this past season, winning both halves of the CanAm League schedule. But the Spirit lost the first-round playoff series to the eventual champion Quebec City Capitales in five games.
"I think we owe (Lopardo) a debt of gratitude," said Lynn businessman Tom Demakes, president of Old Neighborhood Foods and a Spirit fan. "I appreciate the fact that he's taken Fraser Field and turned it into a beautiful park. We don't have the money in the city to do that.
"Everybody who goes, from no matter where they come from, is impressed with Lynn and the Spirit. And to me, that's worth more than money. I'm grateful to him."


PS- I'm going to the BC game tomorrow Joe


SoSayethI2006 said...


Joe Grav said...


See ya next year boys!

Now we can talk baseball!

Joe Grav said...

Question, though--- do yout hink Lopardo shot himself in the foot with the people of Lynn with his threats

benoit emond said...


this really is good news.
thanks nick. can't wait until next season.

benoit emond said...

joe -- i think that the only way that nick could get city government to pay attention was by doing what he did. lynn needs nick more than nick needs lynn -- i don't think that there will be any repercussions.

now. how about that pickup of zach brown? bye bye morgan.

benoit emond said...

my nascar picks are in the previous post --- jeff burton my ass

Joe Grav said...

Gordon will win this race (Jeff). Watch out for Scott Riggs as a dark horse.

Nemechek won here two years ago!!! But he'll finish 34th on Sunday, or something like that.

I think Zach Strong is a 3Bman?

I'm gonna make a "start speculating" post tomorrow when the baseball talk will start goin down! I know it's too early, but I'm PUMPED

benoit emond said...

yeah -- apparently antoin gray is gone so we'll need a third baseman-

strong is a good player but i'm sure they'll be shopping all winter.

DaveCo said...

Great to finally put an end to all our rumors and talk,both positive and negative. And Beniot is right...the only way to get the cty's attenton would've been to do what he did.

Now onto Zach Strong...
Yes,I believe he is a thrid baseman. If Gray doesn't come back I'll miss him because he was a great player. But from how I've seen Strong perform he'd be a good third baseman. But,like someone mentioend before,we got people last season that we thought would be good staters for us at the beginign of the season,but left ebfore it started....this could be good,but lets see what the offsesason does....

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Joe for a great time at BC on Saturday! Hope to see you at Northeastern next Saturday and at the Buffalo game!

-- Josh

TonyTheTiger20 said...

to quote (one of) our moronic democratic friends: