Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tucson Toros to sit out 2011

The GBL will be without the Tucson Toros in 2011, as the team announced that it will taking a one-year hiatus. The decision was prompted by the temporary re-location of the Portland Beavers to Tucson Electric Park. With a AAA team in town next year, it didn't make sense for the Toros to play their 2011 GBL season in Hi Corbett Field.

The Beavers were forced to leave Portland after their ballpark was converted for use by an MLS (soccer) team. The Beavers will obviously be renamed and they'll move into a new $45M ballpark in Escondido, California in 2012.

The (hopefully) temporary loss of the Toros is still a big blow to the Golden Baseball League, as the Tucson franchise has led the GBL in attendance for the past two seasons. The Toros joined the GBL back in 2009, the same year as the Victoria Seals. Right now the only rock-solid franchises in the league are Victoria, Calgary and Edmonton. It will be interesting to see how many teams are part of the GBL next season, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a number of league-owned teams participating to ensure that the league operates with a minimum of six teams.

For more info on the Tucson situation, including an interview with Toros' owner Jay Zucker, click here.