Though nothing’s finalized, there’s a plan for a Chillicothe group to invest in the Rockford Riverhawks and shift the team to the Frontier League for 2011 — coming at the heels of the circulation of a 10-team North American League schedule that drops both Henderson and Rockford for the coming season.
The move of the Riverhawks to the Frontier League, where the team originated before jumping to the Northern League last season, has been widely speculated and anticipated, but the presumption has been that the current ownership would make the move. Instead, new owners with ties to the Chillicothe Paints (summer collegiate; Prospect League) have been meeting with RiverHawks personnel and local businesses, working out an investment plan, according to multiple sources, with the team staying at Road Ranger Stadium.
This comes at the heels of the release of an NAL schedule that drops both the Henderson Roadrunners and the Riverhawks, but includes the Lake County Fielders in a 10-team lineup. That Henderson was dropped is no surprise — the team would be based at a community college in a ballpark with the barest of amenities — but the dropping of the Riverhawks raised a few eyebrows in league circles.
No word on how this impacts the Frontier League for 2011: the only two options are adding a road team and totally disrupting the schedule or dropping a current team from the lineup.
UPDATE: The RiverHawks had scheduled a press conference today to discuss this very thing, but postponed it to Monday.
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