A sale of the Schaumburg Flyers (independent; Northern League) is still ongoing and could close within a week or two, but the future of the team is still in up for debate and generating a lot of buzz in indy-ball circles, as the fate of the team could affect the proceedings in at least two circuits.
Here’s what we know: the Flyers ownership is in talks with a potential new owner that would take over the team’s assets, including the biggest asset for the team: the lease at Alexian Field. The sale would allow the Flyers to address back rent at Alexian Field — now sitting at $920,000 — as well as devote resources to the Lake County Fielders, set to be part of the North American League. It would also allow the village of Schaumburg and the Park Board to halt proceedings on an eviction notice, currently slated to be heard before a judge on Jan. 20.
The uncertainty surrounding the sale, however, is having some ripple effects throughout indy baseball, primarily through the new North American League. There’s still no released schedule for the new circuit; two drafts have been circulated, and teams hit hard with extensive travel and multiple plane-based road trips are not happy. If the Flyers were to shift to another league — a possibility — it decreases the viability of the NAL, leaving only two teams in the Midwest (the Rockford RiverHawks and the aforementioned Fielders) and making travel a nightmare. Therefore, the fate of three teams — as well as the whole NAL — may rest on Schaumburg’s shoulders.
As well as another league. One scenario floating around out there has a new Schaumburg team possibly joining the Frontier League. At one point the name of Lake Erie Crushers (independent; Frontier League) owner Steve Edelson was attached to the proceedings, fueling talk that the Frontier League could be a destination for the team as a replacement for the FL’s Kalamazoo Kings. With Kings owner Bill Wright publicly not committing to a 2011 season as of yet, the connection seems impossible to write off as a coincidence.
Of course, the Jan. 20 date may not be firm, either — the Flyers’ previous attorney withdrew from the case, and presumably the court could give a new attorney time to catch up if so requested.
RELATED STORIES: NAL at 12 for 2011; league looking at Metrodome?; NAL at 12 teams, tentatively; no schedule yet; It’s official: North American League unveiled; Joliet city officials to lobby at Frontier League meetings; Joliet throws monkey wrench in league mergers; New for 2011: North American League; Three indy leagues joining forces for 2011?; Seals: Canaries in the coal mine?
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