City OKs lease to bring baseball back to Batavia

BRIAN QUINN/DAILY NEWSCAN-USA Sports, LLC owner Robbie Nichols speaks to City Council about his plans during Monday night’s meetings.

BATAVIA — An owner and operator who wants to bring a baseball team in Batavia can now move forward with scheduling, hiring staff and getting players, following the City Council’s approval Monday of an amended lease and sublease agreements for Dwyer Stadium.

The amended five-year lease, is between the city and the Batavia Regional Recreation Corporation (BRRC), which operates and manages Dwyer Stadium. The city would be paid $1 for each of the first three years, $7,500 in the fourth year and $10,000 in the fifth year. CAN-USA Sports, LLC, which would own and operate the team, would pay the utility and field maintenance costs. The $7,500 and $10,000 payments to the city would be placed in a stadium capital reserve fund. CAN-USA would allow community groups, Little League teams and high school teams to use the stadium when appropriate. The amended sublease is between the BRRC and CAN-USA.

The agreements were approved following a presentation by Robbie Nichols, owner of CAN-USA Sports, LLC. The amended agreements allow CAN-USA to play its home games at Dwyer. The Batavia team is a member of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL).

“If we are lucky enough to bring a baseball team here, our players will be everywhere in the community. That is of utmost importance,” Nichols told the Council during its conference meeting. “We do food banks, Challenger Division baseball, Ever game will have Little League teams on the field, whether that’s running out for the National Anthem, running to their positions, Salvation Army, some of the different things you see in the community.”

Nichols said he’s talked to Genesee County Baseball Club President Brian Paris, who supports CAN-USA bringing a team to Batavia.

“They are excited. We’re looking forward to working with them if they’re successful and they look forward to working with us,” he said.

The CAN-USA owner said if there is an event going on in Batavia, CAN-USA would know about it and would be there.

“We raise school supplies for all the schools, for the children who couldn’t get school supplies. Race for the Cure, reading — if we can get to the schools and do readings,” Nichols said.

Nichols said the organization would look forward to weekends, when Dwyer could host a Little League tournament and high school tournaments, and any activities it could bring onto the field, such as dance groups.

“I think I’m making a big financial commitment to the stadium, taking care of the stadium, I have to buy a franchise, all the different things you have to do to have a team in the PGCBL,” Nichols said. “Long-term partnership, I’m asking for five years. That’s so I can commit. I’m not going to be here a year, then gone. I’m going to be here five years if we’re successful.”

Nichols said CAN-USA is running out of time.

“I was trying to do this in December. I know you guys have a lot of big issues ... you have to take care of before baseball,” he said. “I understand that, but I think ... we need to move forward as quick as we can to be successful. I’m asking that you vote ‘Yes’ to the lease and keep baseball and the rich history of baseball here in Batavia.”

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