PRESS RELEASE – The Chico Heat is back! The Great West League is proud to welcome the Heat to the new summer collegiate league. The popular ball club last played in 2002, ending a six-season run in the independent Western League. The announcement was made at the regular meeting of the Rotary Club of Chico at the Chico Elks Lodge.
The Heat will return to the field at Nettleton Stadium in June, 2016, under local ownership. The club will be owned by Chico Heat, LLC, under the guidance of former super market entrepreneur Steve Nettleton and Hall of Fame baseball executive Pat Gillick, a Chico-native. Nettleton owned the original ball club and was instrumental in getting Nettleton Stadium built on the Chico State University campus.
“I’m thrilled we’re able to bring back such a high level of baseball to Chico,” said Nettleton. “The fans deserve it and we’re going to make sure the fans come first.”
“I really like the model of bringing in top college players from around the country and helping them become pro players,” added Gillick. “We’ll be putting on a great show and giving folks affordable family entertainment.”
The team is conducting a nation-wide search for a general manager and plans to open an office in the coming weeks. The Heat will play 30-regular season games each summer at Nettleton Stadium.
“We truly appreciate the hard work put in by the administration at Chico State and the community to make this happen,” said league president Ken Wilson. “Fans supported the original Heat in a big way and we’re going to do everything possible to earn their support again.”
ABOUT THE GREAT WEST LEAGUE
The Great West League is one of the premier summer collegiate wood bat leagues in North America, providing a professional, minor league-like atmosphere for top college players seeking professional baseball careers, while providing affordable family entertainment and enriching the quality of life in its member communities.