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San Rafael debates NAL ballpark at Albert Field

North American LeagueThe San Rafael City Council will decide tonight whether to approve a plan from Centerfield Partnership to add temporary fielding to Albert Field in hopes of hosting an independent North American League team there next season.

The proposal would add 800 temporary seats to the city-owned park and upgrade restrooms and clubhouses. Opponents say adding traffic and alcohol to the area would inevitably lead to problems in downtown San Rafael. City staff has already signed off on the plan.

We’re just a little underwhelmed by what’s being proposed. For a league that stretches from Illinois to Texas to Hawaii, the degree of the proposed Albert Field upgrade are really small: 700 existing seats would be augmented by 800 temporary seats, along with upgraded clubhouses and new netting. On the one hand, adding just 800 temporary seats wouldn’t cost much. On the other hand, if we’re talking about a facility that holds 2,000 at the most and seats 1,500, we don’t see how Centerfield Partnership would make any money unless they managed to pull off the largest per-caps in the history of independent baseball, even when paying at the most $300 in nightly rent — unless the North American League of 2012 looks a lot different than the North American League of 2011 and gets back to the Golden Baseball League roots.


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