I live part time in Maine. My mother is in assisted living in Maine. It’s where I lived from age 7-13. Maine is diehard Red Sox country. People think nothing of driving two hours to Boston on a regular basis for games and getting home after midnight. The Sea Dogs (AA Red Sox) typically draw well despite their fifth straight losing season.
I played LL in Portland. The population was 60K then. It’s 65K now. We had to make teams. The definition of a weak player who had to make a team is much different than now where everyone makes a team. There was LL Farms for those who didn’t make LL. There were ten LL’s with four to six teams. Over time the ten LL’s have folded into one LL with six teams. How do you eventually roster three high school baseball programs from six LL teams?
One afternoon I was watching a high school game. I chatted with a high school coach. He was scouting. The winner was his next opponent. I asked him if travel is killing LL or is lacrosse killing baseball. He said the baseball kids play LL and travel. Lacrosse and summer soccer are killing baseball. Bad baseball coaching and boring practices drives kids to lacrosse and soccer.
There are only two travel programs I’m aware of in Southern Maine (pop 600k). They have multiple teams in each age group. They have to go to NH and MA for games in a Northern New England AAU League.