Citizen Staff Writer
• Chico (Calif.) at Tucson, 7 p.m. May 21, Hi Corbett Field
• Tickets: 325-1010
Concern about the swine flu has caused a Golden Baseball League team from Mexico to cancel its season, forcing the new Tucson Toros to try to fill six home dates and six road games.
The Tijuana Potros, also an expansion team in the independent league, were scheduled to visit Hi Corbett Field on June 23-25 and July 7-9. The Toros were set to visit Tijuana on May 26-28 and June 5-7.
Toros owner Jay Zucker said he would look for other opportunities to fill the lost dates, such as exhibitions or fantasy camps.
Mexican soccer teams have banned fans from attending recent games because of the flu epidemic, which has killed 44 people in the country and two in the United States.
As a result, the Tijuana team couldn’t risk launching its season with uncertainty about sponsors, ticket sales and stadium availability.
“We weren’t worried about our players being infected,” Zucker said. “The league just felt it couldn’t wait any longer” for the concerns to subside with the season only two weeks away.
The Toros, who now have 38 home games set, begin their season May 21 against the Chico Outlaws at Hi Corbett.
With Tijuana out, the league is down to nine teams.
Tucson will be in the South Division with Yuma, St. George (Utah) and Orange County (Calif.).
The North Division will feature Edmonton, Calgary and Victoria from Canada and Chico and Long Beach from California.
Tijuana plans to return to the league next season, team president Jose Manuel Peña said in a statement.
“We know this will pass and the Potros will be ready for next year,” he said, “but realize the timing of this natural disaster has left us with no other choice.”