The Symbiotic Relationship Between Baseball, Education, and the Community
Professional baseball is one of the most affluent American sports. However, cities that house Minor League stadiums receive relatively small benefits, despite the huge investment, risk, and financial strain stadiums impose on them. Meanwhile, within United States cities, the educational systems are failing the young generation. School’s sports and creative arts programs are being forfeited due to the lack of funds. In order for students to become successful participants within their communities, children need to have a well-rounded curriculum -- academically rigorous while not sacrificing activities that are considered to be extracurricular and the most motivating and enjoyable part for many. This paper discusses the potential of an educational environment that takes advantage of the multiple benefits of sports activities to provide disenfranchised children an equal opportunity to benefit from learning multiple skills afforded by athletic involvement, in particular, baseball. The paper explores the feasibility of creating a strong symbiotic relationship between education, Minor League Baseball stadiums, and the community. The discussion will be informed through analysis of the current relationship of baseball, education, and community issues through case studies of baseball education facilities, and Minor League Baseball Stadiums observed. A series of design strategies will be introduced to facilitate an educational stadium design to support students who may seek a career in professional baseball.