The effort to bring summer-collegiate West Coast League baseball to Redding and Chico is attracting some big names, including Hall of Fame executive Pat Gillick.
Redding’s mayor is Rick Bosetti, a former Toronto Blue Jays outfielder; he’s seeking funding from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund to fix up Tiger Field and expand seating to 1,500. From redding.com:
The city would seek $200,000 to move the backstop forward for better spectator viewing and to boost seating capacity by 1,000. The field currently seats about 400, with an additional 90 seats behind home plate.
“With 1,500 seats, (the field) becomes a venue for concerts, sunrise church services right in the heart of the city,” said Bosetti, adding how the activity would energize South City Park and surrounding areas.
Additional funds would be needed to convert structures on site into concession stands and additional restroom facilities.
In Chico, Gillick is involved with a group seeking to play at Nettleton Stadium on the Chico State University campus. Independent teams in the Western League and Golden Baseball League played out of Nettleton Stadium, and there were talks between the city and an MiLB owner to bring a High Class A Cal League team to the city before state changes in redevelopment funding slowed things down. Nettleton Stadium is certainly set up to host baseball on the summer-collegiate level.
That the WCL has been seeking a move to northern California isn’t news; we reported Redding and Chico were potential team homes last summer, after Medford was awarded a franchise. You can expect some action on the plans in coming weeks; 2014 is coming up faster than most of us think.
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