Brandon, MB (CKLQ) - Andrews Field will soon be home to a new summer collegiate baseball team.
Starting play in May of 2019, the yet to be named Brandon franchise was officially announced on Thursday morning.
The President of the Expedition League, Steve Wagner and his wife Connie currently own the Brandon franchise and will operate the team until a local ownership group can be brought together. Working alongside the Wagner's will be the Andrews Field Group, headed up by Brandon businessman Nate Andrews.
"We are extremely excited to be adding an Expedition League team in Brandon," Wagner said. "Brandon is a fantastic community and it's growing. Andrews Field is a beautiful ballpark and the perfect venue for Expedition League baseball."
The team will be comprised of NCAA, NAIA and Junior College baseball players and staff who will billet in the Wheat City, in a similar fashion to the Wheat Kings and the province's MJHL clubs.
Now in it's second year of existence, the league has ten teams, based in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and now Manitoba.
"I am very excited," said Brandon Mayor Rick Chrest. "This was an ambitious plan and i'm pleased that the League got off the ground and that the city of Brandon can be included in the 2nd season of league play. It's also neat that Brandon will be the first and for a while, the only Canadian team in the League."
The 64-game season will begin on May 24th and run until August 5th with the playoffs to follow.
According to Wagner, plans are already in place to expand and improve Andrews Field, including VIP areas, improved concessions, party decks and kids zones. These improvements all reiterate the league's commitment to "Good Family Entertainment."
"We're looking forward to a few of these upgrades that will enhance the fan experience," said Wagner. "Andrews Field will be rockin' all summer long."
Wagner also announced that the team has signed Grant Hamilton to take over the Head Coaching position. Hamilton spent last summer with the EL's Spearfish Sasquatch and is currently the Assistant Coach at Montana State University (Billings).
As well, long time Brandon Baseball volunteer/coach Rick Hlady has taken over the role of Marketing / Sponsorship coordinator.
The club is set to launch their social media platforms and their website in the coming days and will soon begin a "Name the Team" contest with hopes to have a name and logo in place by November 15th, 2018.
For more information on the league click here.