The State College Spikes, the Pirates' former affiliate in the NY-Penn League, signed on with the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday night, leaving the Pirates without a Class A- affiliate. It appears, however, that the Pirates have reached a deal with the Jamestown Jammers, who were the Florida Marlins' affiliate in 2012. It also looks like the Bucs will soon move the team to Morgantown, where WVU is hoping to build a new ballpark at University Town Centre. The move could happen in 2014, although the exact date isn't yet clear.
The NY-Penn League season is played from June through early September, when WVU classes aren't in session, so Morgantown isn't exactly densely populated during that time. The Bucs drew an average of about 3,500 fans per night in State College, and they'd be hard-pressed to do that in Morgantown, at least in the long term. Still, this move would put one of the Pirates' minor-league affiliates within 80 minutes of PNC Park, giving Morgantown-area Pirates fans and Pittsburgh-area fans alike the chance to check out recent Bucs draftees.
It also appears, judging from the first article linked above, that the Pirates weren't particularly interested in maintaining their affiliation in State College. One would think State College would be superior to Jamestown, so that suggests that the Bucs are, in fact, likely to move the team to Morgantown or somewhere else.
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