Economics have prompted the Quad-Cities River Bandits to pull the plug on over-the-air radio broadcasts for the 2010 season.
The Midwest League club aired its 140-game schedule on WYEC, an FM station based in Kewanee, Ill., the past two seasons but will offer an Internet-only broadcast of the River Bandits' 70 home games in 2010.
"It was strictly a business decision,'' River Bandits general manager Kirk Goodman said. "We decided we were not going to do something unless it made sense financially and we haven't seen the numbers that make it financially worthwhile.''
The last time Quad-Cities games were not regularly broadcast was after Mississippi River flooding impacted the club's economics and staffing during the 2001 season.
Goodman said the club attempted to work out an arrangement this year with locally operated over-the-air stations but was unable to secure a mutually beneficial deal.
"The expenses outweighed the income by a great deal, especially for road games. In the end, that led us to the decision,'' Goodman said.
Tommy Thrall, a Missouri native who joined the team in December from the Myrtle Beach Pelicans of the Carolina League, will be the new play-by-play voice of the River Bandits.
The River Bandits' Internet broadcasts begin with the April 11 home opener against Cedar Rapids and will be accessible through the team's Web site at riverbandits.com and through a multimedia link at minorleaguebaseball.com.
Quad-Cities fans will be able to follow the team on the road by accessing the home-team call of the game through the link at the minorleaguebaseball.com site as well.
Of the River Bandits' 70-game road schedule, only four will not be broadcast. Those four are among a collection of six the team will play at Beloit, which broadcasts only a limited selection of home games.