Through the website of the Australian Baseball League it was announced that the New Zealand franchise of the league, the Auckland Tuatara, has been placed into liquidation and will leave the league with immediate effect.
The owners of the club did not inform the Chief Executive Officer of Baseball Australia, Glenn Wiliams. He had to read the news through media reports.
Williams stated somewhat biased that Baseball Australia has been immensely supportive of the Tuatara. “We recognise the various challenges the team has faced since returning from a COVID-19-enforced lay-off. It is important to note, these challenges were also faced by all domestic teams and the ABL during the same period.” Apparently Williams has a short memory as the ABL dismissed the Tuatara from participating in the league shortly after COVID-19. The club pulled back from the 2021 season and had to make a new application for the 2022 season.
A statement from the organisations directors said “the impacts of COVID-19 over the past three years, significant increase in costs across the business, plus the loss of income from missing seven of the team’s scheduled 20 home games this past summer has placed a huge strain on finances.”
Club spokesperson Dale Budge told New Zealand news website RNZ he did not know the figure owed but said it was an insurmountable amount.
Budge said it feels he and his team had given everything without a whole lot to show.
“We put a heck of a lot of time and energy and money and effort into into this over the last five years. It’s been all consuming and it’s never been easy. There’s been a lot of challenges which just made it impossible to continue.”
“Shortly after bringing the franchise to life, we were hit with the impacts of Covid, travel restrictions and the financial implications that came with it.”When competition did finally return to Auckland, the weather didn’t play ball with of three of five home played imapcted by weather and affecting crowd attendance.”
The rising costs of participating in the past few months resulted in the team throwing the towel.
A very sad day for New Zealand baseball.
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