The American Softball Association (ASBA) will begin play this summer in Mobile.
“This is a home run for Mobile,” Mayor Sandy Stimpson said in a statement. “I want to thank ASBA for investing in our city. Their presence serves as proof that Mobile is becoming a sports destination. We have a strong tradition of sports in Mobile producing legendary professional athletes, and this only builds on that success. I look forward to welcoming these outstanding athletes to our city.”
ASBA is a new league in women’s sports, offering an alternative for softball players looking to turn pro. The league will initially consist of four teams that will compete in Mobile from June 15 through July 31. The player draft will take place on Wednesday, June 6 at 9 p.m.
Michael Chiaradio, CEO and Founder of parent company, Pro Softball Club, Inc., recognized the need for another professional softball outlet.
“Traditionally, the end of college has meant the end of the road for elite softball players,” Chiaradio said in a statement. “Opportunities to play professionally have been largely limited and the odds high. The ASBA has tapped into that void.”
The ASBA was built on a revenue-sharing model that guarantees an equal distribution between players and the league. Salaries will be paid from all softball-related income which includes, but is not limited to: ticket sales, proceeds from the ASBA Network, concessions, local sponsorship agreements, and merchandise sales.
“We look at this as a cooperative venture. We split all monies 50/50 with the teams and reinvest our portion into growing and developing the league,” Chiaradio said. “We look forward to forming lasting relationships with local merchants and businesses.” .
The ASBA is also looking for community support in housing players this summer. Host families need only to provide a private bedroom and bureau or closet. Hosts are not required to feed, transport, or in any way finance the players.
“The impact that host families and players make on each other’s lives is immeasurable, with relationships often lasting a lifetime,” Chief Branding Officer and Mobile native Joseph Donaldson said.