Our Director of Player Personnel spoke to a college player this week, indicating that if a spot became available on our roster at his position, we'd sign him. The player indicated he received an offer from a team in the Perfect Game League, but the cost was $1500, $750 for the league and $750 for "housing".
I know the Cape Cod League charges an $800 housing fee, and a lot of other leagues have fees..but $1500?????
Our League (Valley) is still a no fee league but we understand there are only a few no-fee leagues left, and there is definitely financial pressure to institute some type of fees. (nothing remotely close to $1500...) The nonprofit leagues are a different world from the "Beer Leagues", the for-profit teams privately owned, that can and do sell alcohol and make serious money at it. They play extensive schedules (up to 70 games), and making a profit is definitely a consideration. The nonprofit leagues (most are members of the NACBL) for the most part work hard to break even every summer.
One rationale espoused in favor of fees is that most high school players that make it to college have played on travel teams costing $2000-$3000 per summer so their parents are "used to it". Ouch. It was pointed out that baseball scholarships are always partial and those parents now have college expenses.
Our league will be voting on instituting a $200 fee for 2015 and I expect a close vote-nobody truly really likes the idea but with the annual operational expenses running $40,000-$50,000 per team, an additional $5000 is pretty darned helpful. Hardship waivers are part of the proposal. An awful lot of good people across the country operate summer teams as a labor of love but for the nonprofits, especially those in small communities, the budgets are getting tighter. The nice folks at MLB do contribute to many of the nonprofit leagues, which in our case covers the expenses of bats and baseballs, but the amount has pretty much remained unchanged over the past 10-15 years.
But with all of this said....a $1500 fee??? Really???