San Rafael group looks to get NAL franchise

A group of investors is venturing to bring independent league ball back to the North Bay, in the form of a North American League franchise. The investor group, Centerfield Capital Partners, will make a public presentation tonight at the San Rafael Community Center. The details:

Please be aware that the city is considering a proposal to host Minor League baseball at Albert Park/Albert Field.

The plan includes seating for up to 1500 people. A total of 45 games would be played on Friday and Saturday nights, until 11pm, and some Sundays, May through September. A copy of the plan is available at the address listed below.

Beer and wine concessions will established.

A presentation will be given on April 28th at the San Rafael Community Center at 618 B Street at 7 pm by the developer CenterFieldPartners

Please attend and and share your thoughts on this project: Good for the area? Too much noise? Security/Police? Alcohol related issues?

City of San Rafael Contact is Carlene McCart, Director of Community Services, 618 B Street, 485-3333.

An article in last week’s Marin IJ has quotes from Brian Clark, the head of the investor group. The target ballfield at Albert Park is an old downtown charmer with a covered grandstand. Some area residents have responded by hiring an attorney, who may push for an environmental impact report.

The North American League came about as merger of three other independent leagues: Northern League, United Baseball League, and Golden Baseball League. You’ll remember the GBL had a prolific expansion last decade and attracted several past-their-prime stars, including Rickey Henderson (San Diego Surf Dawgs). The GBL’s head, David Kaval, left the league and joined the San Jose Earthquakes.

Centerfield Capital Partners has territorial rights over the entire Bay Area. The only other franchise in Northern California is the Chico Outlaws, a former GBL team. These efforts shouldn’t affect Chris Lee’s interest in getting a California League team in Windsor. San Rafael and Windsor are far enough apart that there shouldn’t be any encroachment of fanbases. For Lee, the gating mechanism continues to be the SF Giants, whose protection of its various territories continues to frustrate others all over the Bay.

3 thoughts on “San Rafael group looks to get NAL franchise

  1. Hopefully the Giants don’t try to block their move too. 😛

  2. This sounds too awesome. When the hell si somebody int he local media going to call the Giants out for their douchery? There is nothing justifiable about blocking a Single A team in Windsor.

  3. I’m moving to Gerstle Park in San Rafael in August – would absolutely LOVE to walk 5 minutes with my son down to the park to catch some pro ball. The comments in the IJ stories were overwhealmingly supportive. Marin needs more entertainment options like this – grew up there, and there is not much doing for teens and kids other than causing trouble at the mall.

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