WINDSOR, Colorado — The Orem Owlz announced Monday their departure from Orem, Utah to Windsor, Colo., to become the Northern Colorado (NoCo) Owlz in 2021.
The Owlz will join the eight-team Pioneer League for a 92-game season, beginning on Memorial Day Weekend and concluding in September.
Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Pioneer League jointly announced Monday that the Pioneer League has been designated a “Partner League” of MLB.
The Northern Colorado Owlz will join the Grand Junction Rockies, Colorado Springs' Rocky Mountain Vibes, the Billings Mustangs, the Great Falls Voyagers, the Idaho Falls Chukars, the Missoula PaddleHeads and the Ogden Raptors in the league.
The Northern Colorado Owlz will play at Future Legends Complex, a new 118-acre sports, entertainment and retail development currently under construction in Windsor. The complex will open fully in spring 2022.
"This departure is bittersweet. We have been fortunate to spend the last 15 years in Utah, and are so grateful for the support the Orem fans, community, and corporate partners have shown us," said Northern Colorado Owlz owner Jeff Katofsky.
The Owlz tentatively anticipate a 2021 season with 46 home games, pending COVID-19 restrictions.
"We look forward to serving the Northern Colorado community and providing high level competition and affordable family fun, alongside youth sports and entertainment. This new MLB Partnership League lays a strong foundation for a revamped Pioneer League, and we look forward to competing with fellow teams — and hopefully winning a championship! — next season," said Katofsky.
In the new partnership, the Pioneer League will collaborate with MLB to provide organized baseball to communities throughout the Western U.S. and Canada, according to a release.
MLB will provide initial funding for the league’s operating expenses, as well as install scouting technology in Pioneer League ballparks to provide MLB clubs with first-class scouting information on Pioneer League players, the leagues announced Monday.
The agreement will also include a procedure for player transfers to MLB clubs. The leagues also will explore joint marketing, ticketing and fan engagement opportunities.
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