The future of the Arkansas Travelers in question after team being sold

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Travelers has new ownership for the first time since 1960.

Previously owned by Arkansas Travelers Inc., now the Travs are owned by Diamond Baseball Holdings (DBH).

DBH owns more than 30 other minor league baseball clubs.

North Little Rock Mayor, Terry Hartwick and Vice President of the AR Travs board of directors, Rex Nelson agree that the change in ownership will be beneficial.

It’s just the question whether it’ll last after 2026 because the future of the Arkansas Travelers is at bat.

The team’s current lease is up in 2026 and improvements are required by Major League Baseball to the home of the Travelers, Dickey Stephens Park located in North Little Rock.

Mayor Hartwick says he is glad to see the Travelers be under the ownership of DBH, but when it comes to the repairs, he says Dickey Stephens Park isn’t more important than the city of North Little Rock who needs repairing after last years March 31 tornado.

“The tornado that hit my city came first by a long, long shot before Dickey Stephens,” Hartwick said.

Rex Nelson, vice president of the Travs board of directors say “we’ve got to have a ballpark that lives up to the standards.

“If that problem is not fixed, I would expect the team to move to an out of state location,” Nelson said.

In 2022, the mayor agreed that the city would put around 7 million dollars into the repairs but March 31 2023 came.

“A tornado has nothing to do with the future. Either they do this, or they lose baseball,” Nelson said. 

Hartwick says “the city of North Little Rock has put in around 3 million dollars” towards the project and says he’s hopeful the Travs will be here to stay past 2026.

“We got baseball this year. We got baseball next year. I’m sure by then we’ll figure something out,” Hartwick stated.

Mayor Hartwick says the march 31 tornado cost the city of North Little Rock around $40 million, and they have yet to receive all their federal assistance money from FEMA. 

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