The independent North American League will be playing under some pretty restrictive circumstances at Albert Park in 2012, as the San Rafael (Cal.) City Council approved a one-year lease for the small ballpark.
The terms of the lease, which is expected to bring the city $35,000 or so in revenue, calls for no changes to the 700-seat grandstand, and the team will install 100 or so more seats, bringing total capacity to 800. Temporary concession stands will serve food and beer/wine to the crowd, and permanent netting will replace the chicken wire currently installed in the grandstand. Parking will be free.
If this sounds like a very basic baseball facility...you're right. Unless owner Centerfield Partners is expecting some of the most spectacular per-caps in the history of professional baseball, we can't see how a team playing in an 800-seat ballpark can generate adequate revenues to compete in a travel-heavy league like the North American League, which stretches from Texas and Arizona to Hawaii and Alberta.
RELATED STORIES: San Rafael ballpark proposal scaled back to 800-seat facility; San Rafael delays decision on NAL ballpark, as citizens class over merits; San Rafael debates NAL ballpark at Albert Park
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