May 24, 2016

Baseball fans in Carroll won’t have to travel to Chicago’s friendly confines or Busch Stadium in St. Louis to enjoy a beer at the park.

Carroll City Council members Monday approved a liquor license that will allow the Carroll Chamber of Commerce to sell beer and wine coolers at Merchants Park during games for the college and pre-professional development league team, the Carroll Merchants.

In related action, the Council approved a $1 lease for the season with the Merchants for 13 home games.

The Merchants, part of the CornBelt Summer Collegiate Baseball League, start the season on the road June 1 in Clarinda.

The first home game will be June 3 with the Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Pilots at 7 p.m.

The Merchants played five home games in Carroll last year as the organization waded into the community.

“I know a lot of people mentioned to me they enjoyed the baseball and the activities down there,” said Jack Wardell, parks and recreation director for the city.

Shannon Landauer, executive director of the Carroll Chamber of Commerce, said she expects positive economic-development activity associated with the team.

“We feel like we have a great process outlined,” Landauer said.

The Merchants will field players from around the world and have an active home host program arranged largely through the work of past chamber president John Perrin, an active booster and strong advocate for the Merchants.

Chris Whitaker, a member of the Carroll Athletic Association, which oversees the stadium, says the brand of baseball is “the next best thing” to semi-pro baseball.