Na Koa won’t play in 2014

Hawaii Baseball LLC, the owner of Na Koa Ikaika Maui and the Hawaii Stars, announced on Monday that it will not participate in the 2014 Pacific Association season, but is aiming to form a different independent league for next year comprising only teams in the Aloha State.

In a release by Hawaii Baseball, owner Bob Young said: “While I am keenly aware that the great baseball fans who have supported us these past four years will not have their home teams to root for this season, we are well on our way to begin our own Hawaii Professional Baseball League in 2015 when I hope to see all our fans and supporters back in the stands.”

Young said the goal was to have a league with four to six teams.

According to the release, the California teams in the Pacific Association said they would not be able to travel to Hawaii, due to the expense. In an interview, Mike Shapiro, owner of the San Rafael Pacifics and Sonoma Stompers, confirmed that was the case.

Young said: “Our business plan calls for Hawaii’s very own professional league to launch in 2015. Working with the state to build our own facilities will permanently cement pro baseball here. I remain confident that Hawaii Baseball will continue in 2015.”

In an interview, Young said he was interested in having a stadium built on Maui. Na Koa have played at Maehara Stadium in Wailuku in all four years of their existence.

“If we have a sufficient amount of land to have conjunctive development (of additional businesses), it’s really a win-win all around,” Young said.