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GBL expands to Hawaii

The independent Golden Baseball League will field a team at Maui's Maehara Stadium in 2010, with a goal of three more teams on the island down the road

Professional baseball will return to Hawaii in 2010, as the independent Golden Baseball League will field a team playing out of Maui's Maehara Stadium, a 1,500-seat facility formerly housing Hawaii Winter Baseball League games.

Pro baseball hasn't been seen in Hawaii since the Hawaii Islanders (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) left for the mainland after the 1988 season.

The team will be owned by XnE Inc., the outfit that owns and operations the St. George RoadRunners in the same circuit. The firm bought all operating rights to the the state and plans up to four teams on the islands. Doing that will require play in some college venues, as Aloha Stadium was reconfigured in the past year to eliminate baseball as an option.

The league plans to address travel in 2010 with week-long trips to Maui: teams will play three games, take a day off, and then play another three games. 

The addition of Maui gives the GBL an even number of teams for 2010: the league played with nine teams in 2009. The league had a very good season last year: the addition of Tucson and the installation of a new ownership group in Edmonton helped push attendance up 28 percent.

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