VERO BEACH, FL — Minor League Baseball is going to take a swing at a name other than Dodgertown to sell the 65-acre complex that has worn that name since the late 1940s.
For now, the local complex will be referred to as the “Vero Beach Sports Village.”
MiLB President Pat O’Conner said Thursday they couldn’t go any longer without a name to market the complex as a multipurpose facility, as they continue to work with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Major League Baseball to obtain a license to use the “Dodgertown” name.
“The fact is that it’s been eight months and we don’t have permission to use ‘Dodgertown,’ ” O’Conner said. “We can’t use ‘Dodgertown’ on the Internet or in any commercial way.”
MiLB has been running the complex since April 2009, a year after the Dodgers played their final Grapefruit League season, trying to bring year-round businesses to the complex and surrounding area, by having various high school, college and professional teams train at the facility.
Earlier this month, the Washington Freedom, one of eight teams in the Women’s Professional Soccer league, held their pre-season training at the complex. And the village currently is playing host to the Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation Evaluation Course for individuals seeking positions as umpires in high school, college and professional baseball.
O’Conner said he still hopes to be able to use the “Dodgertown” name, and continues to work with the Dodgers and Major League Baseball on a licensing use that can honor the team’s history in Indian River County.
The problem, O’Conner said, is that when the Dodgers left town, they took the name “Dodgertown” with them, branding the neighborhood they took over for Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles from Chavez Ravine to “Dodgertown.” The Major League Club also added the moniker to the ball parks in which its minor league affiliates play.
“It’s just like you couldn’t come up with a new soda pop and call it Coca Cola,” O’Conner said. “It’s not a question of using it just because it’s always been called ‘Dodgertown.’ It’s a piece of intellectual property.”
MiLB can state that the complex was the historic Dodgertown where the Dodgers used to hold spring training and fielded a Florida State League minor league team.
Reported by: Jim Turner/Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers
Copyright 2010 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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