Badlands Big Sticks to Join Northwoods League in 2024
The Badlands Big Sticks and Northwoods League announced today the team will be joining the league for the 2024 season and beyond. This move makes them the third current North Dakotan team in the Northwoods League joining the Bismarck Larks and Minot Hot Tots.
“The Larks and Hot Tots are extremely excited to welcome the Big Sticks to the Northwoods League as this is extremely exciting for our fans to have another in-state rival,” Larks & Hot Tots Owner John Bollinger said. “The energy in the ballpark last year for Bismarck and Minot rivalry games was unmatched and will surely be the same when the Big Sticks come to town.”
The move not only capitalizes on already established sport rivalries between the three North Dakota cities, but will likely increase regional tourism to each market with fan travel. Larks players will also benefit by having more games in North Dakota which helps cut down on overall travel time.
Big Sticks Owner, Dave Ouellette, made the jump to the Northwoods League because he wants to provide Big Sticks fans the best experience, help players be successful, and also be closer to his family.
“There is a lot of crossover of baseball fans in both Dickinson and Bismarck. Fans would ask every year if we could play the Larks in a scrimmage so it’s going to be really fun,” said Ouellette. “We want to take it to the next level for our fans and going to the Northwoods League will help us do that… I along with many Dickinson residents have family in Bismarck, Minot and beyond in Minnesota too. We can make road trips to watch the Big Sticks now and go see family. That’s what this is all about.”
The Big Sticks formerly were in the Expedition League where they won the division in 2018, 2019 and 2020 including the Expedition League Championship in 2019. The team then went on to join the Independence League where they had a combined record of 57-45 through 2022.