Bakersfield losing minor league baseball after this season

Sam Lynn Ballpark, home of the Bakersfield Blaze minor league baseball team, is seen in a KBAK/KBFX file photo.

Bakersfield will lose professional baseball after this season.

Minor League Baseball announced Monday that the Bakersfield Blaze and High Desert Mavericks of the Single-A California League will be no more, and the Carolina League will expand by two teams next season.

"As a league we worked diligently to explore alternatives to realignment, but the lack of alternatives combined with importance of this project to address broader issues within Minor League Baseball led us to help facilitate this realignment," California League President Charlie Blaney said in a news release.

One relocated franchise will play in Kinston, North Carolina. The other location is not settled, but Fayetteville, North Carolina, appears to be a strong contender.

"Baseball has had a long and wonderful history in Bakersfield," Blaze owner D.G. Elmore said in the news release. "I am sorry to see it come to a close."

RELATED STORY | Efforts were made in the past to keep Blaze in Bakersfield

Bakersfield's affiliation agreement with the Seattle Mariners ends after the current season. The final regular season home stand for the Blaze begins Tuesday and ends Sunday, Aug. 28.

Elmore previously explored relocating the team to a new ballpark site in Salinas. Previous owners tried and failed to build a new ballpark in Bakersfield.

The Blaze play in Sam Lynn Ballpark, which was built in the 1940s, and the park is uniquely situated so the batters face into the setting sun.

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