The independent North American League pulled the plug on the Chico Outlaws after failing to persuade Chico State to sign off on a three-year lease for Nettleton Stadium.
Chico State had offered a one-year lease for the ballpark, under pretty much the same terms offered the last two years. The Outlaws — a team still under league ownership (i.e., Diamond Sports and Entertainment) — were seeking a three-year lease. Since that wasn’t going to happen, the league decided to walk away from one of its better markets.
“We will not be playing in Chico this year,” Diamond Sports CEO Brian MacInnes told the Chico Enterprise-Record. “We’ve had a one-year lease before, we had one last year, and it’s just not a way for us to run a business. We need a multi-year lease, otherwise every year you’re in the same situation, and you have no continuity.”
The loss of the Outlaws presents a delicate issue for the North American League. The Southern Division of the league — encompassing six Texas teams in five markets — is fairly set, although the final status of the Fort Worth Cats remains to be seen. In the Northern Division, we only have three confirmed teams: the Yuma Panthers, the San Rafael Pacifics and Na Koa Ikaika Maui. Edmonton and Calgary are out of the league, while there’s been no confirmation of a Fullerton Flyers lease at Cal State-Fullerton.
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