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With border still closed, Frontier League adjusts 2021 schedule

With the U.S./Canada border remaining closed for the foreseeable future, the Frontier League has paused international play for the 2021 season, with three teams replaced by a U.S.-based travel team.

The Ottawa Titans and Trois-Rivieres Aigles will not field teams for the 2021 season, while a team from Quebec will be formed by the Aigles and Capitales and helmed by Pat Scalabrini, manager of the Quebec Capitales.

The decision means the Titans will not make a 2021 debut and will instead work toward a 2022 opening. This team will be composed of the Canadian players from the Titans, Aigles and Capitales rosters, along with the remaining players under contract to Quebec. The new team will spend the first half of the 2021 season on the road and visit each of the 13 other league markets, beginning at Gateway on May 27. Should the border open, they will play what would have been their home games at Stade Canac in Quebec City and Stade Quillorama in Trois-Rivieres. Up to 27 home games are possible. If the border has not reopened by July 23, these games will be played at the opponent’s ballpark.

“After having to suspend our 2020 season, we were excited to play 2021 with our full 16 teams and to bring the tremendous market of Ottawa into the Frontier League,” said deputy commissioner Steve Tahsler via press statement.  “Unfortunately, the continued and understandable impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are causing us to change our plans. Our three Canadian members have proven to be tremendous additions and great partners.  We look forward to resuming a full league schedule in 2022.”

“With the continued closure of the U.S/Canada border and the uncertainty of when it will reopen, the Ottawa Titans in conjunction with the Frontier League have agreed to make 2022 our inaugural season,” said Titans’ vice-president Regan Katz via press statement. “This was not an easy decision, but we believe it is the right decision. We thank our staff, players, coaches, and manager for their commitment to the Ottawa Titans and look forward to seeing them on our field next May. Special thanks to our fans, ticket holders and our corporate sponsors for their tremendous support. We look forward to seeing you all in 2022. We wish the Province of Quebec team good luck in 2021 and wish them the best in dealing with the challenges of being a road team. The Ottawa Titans will immediately shift focus to getting through this pandemic and preparing for the 2022 season.”

“It is a situation completely out of our control,” said Trois-Rivières president Rene Martin via press statement. “We cannot wait to play in the Frontier League in 2022. One of our main goals was to present professional baseball in Trois-Rivieres and Quebec this summer, and should the border reopen that option remains. There is no perfect solution, but the possibility of maybe presenting some professional baseball while preparing for 2022 is the best scenario for us.”

“We are trying to make the best of the situation,” said Quebec president Michel Laplante via press statement. “We feel the full scenario that we will present over the next few days will fill up the maximum potential of the circumstances. Our fellow teams have been great partners and we have had tremendous support from our government and city. We will have something interesting to announce soon.”

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