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Albert Park Pro Baseball Decision Delayed

Centerfield Partners requested to postpone their discussion on bringing a minor league team to San Rafael to Sept. 19.

The San Rafael City Council was expected to request a review by an independent contractor before moving forward on a proposal that would bring a North American League baseball team to , but the discussion was postponed until Sept. 19.

Centerfield Partners, the East Bay-based group that is pitching the proposal, would pay for the independent review, which is expected to cost between $30,000 and $50,000.

The review would address neighbors' concerns regarding possible negative impacts on the community and would also determine whether a more formal environmental review is necessary, according to partnership spokesman Brian Sobel.

An independent review could take up to four months and delay the partnership's plan to have a team on the field next spring, Sobel said.

Council members said that the decision to postpone last night's discussion regarding the independent contractor was at the request of the partnership so that that they could further analyze the situation.

City staff were able to send out an email alerting residents of the change around 5 p.m. Mayor Al Boro said that the request for the postponed came in the late afternoon that day.

Centerfield Partnership wants to lease the field at Albert Park for two years with an option for a third year.

Dublin resident Brian Clark, CEO of Centerfield Partners LLC, owns the independent North American League's territory rights for the Bay Area.

If the proposal passes, a San Rafael team would join six other teams in the North American League's Western Division and would play 90 games a season, excluding playoffs.

The team would play 45 of those games at Albert Park on Monday through Friday after 6:30 p.m. and on weekends between May and September, Sobel said.

The North American League is an independent professional league that was formed in the fall of 2010 and their play level is considered on par with Major League Baseballs' AA and AAA teams, according to the league's website.

A number of The National American League alumni have gone on to play for MLB teams, including Sergio Romo of the San Francisco Giants and Bobby Cramer of the Oakland Athletics.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

JoJo August 17, 2011 at 08:37 PM
I cannot wait to watch minor league baseball at the park. It would greatly help the surrounding community which is suffering from crime and homelessness. To have a genuine business there at night would greatly improve the area which is susceptible to drug use and crime in the evenings.

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