Nettuno to play for free at Stadio Steno Borghese

Financially troubled Italian baseball club Nettuno or Nettuno Baseball City as it is called now will play its home games at Stadio Steno Borghese for free for the remainder of the season.

The financially strapped club is bailed out by the FIBS (Italian Baseball and Softball Federation) after a video conference with all the other clubs.

The nephew of Nettuno, baseball club Nuova Citta di Nettuno, who is managing the ballpark, has offered a free stay to Nettuno City. In this way, Nettuno City can continue to play this season.  Since Nettuno is the southernmost of all Serie A1 cities, the club has to make long road trips. First, they have to get past Rome and its horrific traffic and have a five-hour bus ride to get to their nearest opponent in Florence. So in order to save on hotel costs, the FIBS and other clubs have allowed Nettuno Baseball City to play its road games at one day instead of two separate days. Now the club will play doubleheaders on the road on Saturday.

The strange thing about this whole situation is that Nuova Citta di Nettuno, that is managing Stadio Steno Borghese, played in the Serie A last year. As the IBL was the highest level, Serie A was one level lower. In 2016, the club even played at the Serie B. At the start of 2018, Nuova Citta di Nettuno applied for a spot in the Serie A1 (that has replaced the IBL) and this application was approved by the FIBS.

Stadio Steno Borghese in Nettuno

The FIBS could not afford to lose a club during the season as an odd number of clubs would remain. Therefore they opted for this temporary solution. Nettuno City will play doubleheaders on Saturday. Only the home games will be played according to schedule on Friday and Saturday nights.

According to FIBS chairman Marcon, this was a situation that could not be solved without consulting the other seven clubs of the Serie A1.

Of course, a definite solution needs to be found to help Nettuno Baseball City out of its poor financial situation. It is sad to see how a storied club like Nettuno that was founded in 1945 is having a hard time to stay afloat. The club that was home to former Major Leaguer Lenny Randle once, has won seventeen Italian championships and six European Cups. In 2011, the club was put into liquidation but made a new start under the name City of Nettuno BC. At one point, the municipality of Nettuno sent the club away. The club found a home in nearby Anzio. Since 2016, the club operates under the name of Nettuno Baseball City.

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