XnE Inc. and the Golden Baseball League have come to an agreement to expand into Hawaii. Initially the team will be based out of out of the Island of Maui to play as a member of the GBL at the War Memorial complex in Wailuku, Maui for the 2010 season.
Hawaii, is known for having great professional baseball in their area, such as the AAA Pacific Coast League Hawaii Islanders (defunct, 1987) and the Hawaiian Winter League, which draws its players from Nippon Professional Baseball, the Korean Baseball Organization, the Independent Leagues and finally Major League Baseball.
“We’re very excited to add Maui as a member of the GBL for this coming season,” said David Kaval, CEO of the Golden Baseball League.
“Hawaii has a fine tradition of baseball, and Maui is a wonderful location with a passionate fan base, strong support from the businesses and community officials, and an excellent tourism industry that draws lots of baseball fans from all over the world. We are thrilled to have XnE and their local partners as part of the league and look forward to a successful franchise in Hawaii”.
Pursuant to the agreement, XnE Inc, acquired 100% of the operating rights for $800,000 USD. With the recent acquisition of the St. George Roadrunners, each team will operate as a wholly/fully owned subsidiary of XnE Inc. A president will be hired for each operation.
XnE has signed the lease for the stadium and is finishing the approval process with the city council. The team name and schedule will be announced when the 2010 GBL championship schedule is released in the early part of December.
The GBL continues to be one the front-runners in independent baseball when it comes to expansion is becoming one of the most well known Indy Leagues around. XnE along with the GBL has also finalized a Territory Operating Rights Agreement that includes the ability to add four more teams in Hawaii. A 10-team league is on the horizon for 2010 and it will include an 88-96 games schedule.
Hawaii is not where the GBL is looking to end their expansion for 2010. Within the upcoming months, additional teams are looking to be added as well. This organization is literally trying to be known all across the US and Canada as teams are located in California, Arizona Utah and Alberta.
As for the division setup, there is to be a North and South Division with at least four teams qualifying for the playoffs.
Rick Berry, COO of XnE Inc, describes in detail the year long process it took to get this operation off the ground, “We have been developing a plan to bring pro baseball to Hawaii for over a year now. I am thrilled to be able to launch our initial team on the island that was our top choice. Maui is an ideal location for us with strong partnerships in place or possible with the City, County, local investor/owners, businesses, the media, and the fans. We will be opening our offices in the coming weeks, hiring locally, rolling out fundraising partnerships with the schools to name the team and mascot, joining the local business organizations, and launching a non-profit to help provide resources to local charities”
“Plus we will be building a first class pro baseball club with a major league experienced manager stocked with professionals with a high level of experience including the best available players from Hawaii.”
Devon Teeple is an author for the Business of Sports Network, which includes the Biz of Baseball, the Biz of Football, the Biz of Basketball and the Biz of Hockey. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies.
Devon is a former student within Sports Management Worldwide’s Baseball General Manager Class. Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective and is a intern with The Football Outsiders and contributor with the Plymouth River Eels.