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Lake County Fielders cancel 2012 baseball season

Lake County Fielders field corner Route 173 Green Bay Road Zion. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media

Lake County Fielders field at the corner of Route 173 and Green Bay Road in Zion. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: April 10, 2012 4:17PM

With dueling lawsuits between the city of Zion and the Lake County Fielders, it was doubtful the minor-league team would be playing the 2012 baseball season.

The Fielders have made it official: They won’t be fielding a team this summer.

“With no existing stadium in Zion, we will not be participating in any formal baseball league play this upcoming season,” the team said in a statement.

The team said that for the 2010 and 2011 seasons, their leagues provided the Deerfield-based Fielders with a special exemption to their stadium standards based on Zion’s promises that new stadium construction was imminent.

“Every league has minimum stadium standards that must be met prior to participating in league play — generally, at least 3,000 permanent fixed seats with a capacity of at least 5,000, locker rooms, plumbing and electrical infrastructure, concession stands, etc.,” the Fielders said.

The team said games were played during those two seasons without a stadium and at “extraordinary financial loss, in reliance on the better days that would lie ahead once the city built the stadium.”

“Regrettably, the city still hasn’t commenced stadium construction, so the Fielders simply have no choice but to suspend plans for a 2012 league season, and look to 2013 and beyond,” the statement said.

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