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Perth Heat ownership announced
New owners confirmed as league goes international
08/09/2018 8:19 PM ET


THIS SUMMER Perth Heat fans can expect big things for the Australian Baseball League with new ownership and the creation of an international competition.

The new owners, brokered by long standing club patron Marty Parn, are headed by Perth businessman Rory Vassallo, experienced broadcaster Christian Galopolous and America's Cup winner Eileen 'Red' Bond.

"My involvement with the Perth Heat spans more than past 25 years, and it's been a wonderful experience with the players, staff and volunteers," Parn said.

"With this new franchise and ownership team that offer so much commercial expertise, I believe we will be a very strong and competitive force."

Vassallo, who has been a director of South Fremantle Football Club since 2013 and will step into the role of Chairman for the Heat, believes baseball has been largely undervalued in WA and nationally.

"We are backed by an incredible wealth of talented individuals and we're looking forward to recruiting specific skillset directors to join the board over time to ensure a well governed and led Perth Heat," Vassallo said.

"The Australian Baseball League is set for a major shift this season with the inclusion of teams from South Korea and New Zealand in the competition," he said.

"Coupled with the international expansion, the new Perth Heat ownership group is planning to work with the club to introduce new initiatives that enhance the game-day experience for spectators.

"Baseball is a great summer sport played under lights in a family fun atmosphere, we are confident that the revamp of the ABL competition will lead to much stronger support and greater commercial success."

In June, the Adelaide Football Club, which owns the Crows AFL team, announced its purchase of South Australia's ABL team the Adelaide Bite.

Perth Heat, has taken out the ABL's Claxton Shield Championship 15 times making it one of the most successful teams in the league.

Perth Heat will retain its close association with Baseball WA by securing the services of Baseball WA's High-Performance unit to manage on-field Baseball Operations, led by Lachlan Dale (BWA Chief Executive) and Andrew Kyle (Perth Heat Manager). The club has also reached an agreement to hold all its home games at the Perth Harley-Davidson Ballpark.

"This is an exciting time for baseball in Western Australia as we embark on a new chapter in Perth Heat history," Dale said.

"It's really important that we maintain our focus on grassroots development and create pathways for our high-performance athletes to play for the team they've grown up watching."

Vassallo said he looked forward to partnering with Lachlan and Andy and expected to see other similar commercial arrangements in the future.

"The partnership will leverage our commercial expertise and the knowledge of Andy and Lachlan, while we are pleased to continue our association with Alcohol. Think Again as the club's naming sponsor.

"We hope to bolster both on and off-field resources to get back into championship contention in the coming season,"

The Alcohol. Think Again Perth Heat open their 2018/19 season at home to Auckland on Friday 16th November at 7.00pm.

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.