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Group says it’s ready to play in Omaha; MECA says otherwise

North American LeagueRepresentatives of Fast Ball Sports LLC say they have an agreement to play in Omaha‘s TD Ameritrade Park under the North American League banner, but ballpark officials say no lease is in place — and there are no current negotiations slated for one.

The group, which includes Minnesota businessman Jim Space, Washington, D.C. attorney George Grammas and locals Walt Peffer and Kris Pierce, has a team name — the Omaha Flame — as well as a general manager and a player scout, according to a press release. They say a letter sent last September by the Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority, which will run the ballpark, gave them the green light to move forward with planning for a 2010 lease. They say they put down $200,000 deposit on a million-dollar expansion fee. They say the team has already been approved by the North American League. In other words: they’re ready to roll.

One small problem: there’s no lease, and officials with MECA say there are no current negotiations for one. In a statement, MECA President/CEO Roger Dixon said: “As we have stated before, we are interested in bringing a minor league baseball team with a viable ownership group within a sustainable league to TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. We are not in current negotiations with Fast Ball Sports.”

One issue for MECA: The status of the North American League. Dixon said MECA is not opposed to the league, but needs to do some due diligence before moving forward with lease negotiations.

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