Last night (4/17) the Frontier League officially announced changes to their schedule after rumors were flying around about the uncertainty of the 2021 season for their Canadian-based teams.
This adjustment takes the Frontier League from 16 teams to 14 teams for the 2021 season. The Can-Am Conference goes from 8 teams to 6 while the Midwestern Conference stays the same.
However, the schedule does have significant changes across both conferences as many teams gain homestands and opponents for dates have changed.
Due to the uncertainty regarding the reopening of the United States-Canada border, the Frontier League regretfully announces that the Ottawa Titans and Trois-Rivieres Aigles will not field teams for the 2021 season. To complete the 2021 schedule, a team from the Province of Quebec will be formed by the Aigles and Capitales and managed by Pat Scalabrini, manager of the Quebec Capitales.
“With the continued closure of the U.S/Canada border and the uncertainty of when it will reopen, the Ottawa Titans in conjunction with the Frontier League have agreed to make 2022 our inaugural season,” said Titans’ vice-president Regan Katz. “This was not an easy decision, but we believe it is the right decision. We thank our staff, players, coaches, and manager for their commitment to the Ottawa Titans and look forward to seeing them on our field next May. Special thanks to our fans, ticket holders and our corporate sponsors for their tremendous support. We look forward to seeing you all in 2022. We wish the Province of Quebec team good luck in 2021 and wish them the best in dealing with the challenges of being a road team. The Ottawa Titans will immediately shift focus to getting through this pandemic and preparing for the 2022 season.”
“After having to suspend our 2020 season, we were excited to play 2021 with our full 16 teams and to bring the tremendous market of Ottawa into the Frontier League,” said deputy commissioner Steve Tahsler. “Unfortunately, the continued and understandable impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are causing us to change our plans. Our three Canadian members have proven to be tremendous additions and great partners. We look forward to resuming a full league schedule in 2022.”
This team will be composed of the Canadian players from the Titans’, Aigles’, and Capitales’ current rosters along with the remaining players under contract to Quebec. Non-Canadian players on the Ottawa and Trois-Rivieres rosters will be subject to a dispersal draft among the 13 United States-based teams on Thursday afternoon.
The new team will spend the first half of the 2021 season on the road and visit each of the 13 other stadiums, beginning at Gateway on May 27. Should the border open, they will play what would have been their home games at Stade Canac in Quebec City and Stade Quillorama in Trois-Rivieres. Up to 27 home games are possible. If the border has not reopened by July 23, these games will be played at the opponent’s stadium.
“It is a situation completely out of our control”, said Trois-Rivieres president Rene Martin. “We cannot wait to play in the Frontier League in 2022. One of our main goals was to present professional baseball in Trois-Rivieres and Quebec this summer, and should the border reopen that option remains. There is no perfect solution, but the possibility of maybe presenting some professional baseball while preparing for 2022 is the best scenario for us.”
“We are trying to make the best of the situation,” commented Quebec president Michel Laplante. “We feel the full scenario that we will present over the next few days will fill up the maximum potential of the circumstances. Our fellow teams have been great partners and we have had tremendous support from our government and city. We will have something interesting to announce soon.”
Founded for the 1993 season, the Frontier League is the largest and longest running independent professional baseball league. An official Partner League of Major League Baseball, the Frontier League features 16 clubs stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River and from the Ohio River to the St. Lawrence Seaway. The Frontier League annually moves the most players into Major League Baseball organizations of any of the MLB Partner Leagues.