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In their two seasons in the Pioneer Baseball League, the Provo Angels have been something of a model franchise.

They've competed for the league championship both years, played in picturesque Larry H. Miller Stadium on the campus of Brigham Young University and had a number of their players rocket through the Anaheim farm system.

There's a problem in Pleasantville, however.

BYU doesn't want the Angels playing on their field anymore, so this season will be the Angels' last on the Cougars' campus. The team and the city of Provo have yet to come up with the necessary funding to build a new stadium.

Unless an 11th-hour solution is reached, the Angels might have to take their ball and go home.

But where is home?

With the Pioneer League's recent return to Helena, Mont., and foray into Casper, there are few - if any - cities available in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho or Utah for relocation. One option might be either Greeley or Loveland in Colorado - there have been rumors that a group of investors is looking to build a 4,000-capacity stadium in the area and purchase a franchise - but according to league sources, such talk is little more than idle gossip.

As the Pioneer League moves forward, the issue of franchise stability might be the most significant challenge. It certainly is in the short term.

"I'd say the league's biggest issue right now is probably making sure Provo's stable in either a new facility or BYU," said Casper Rockies general manager Mary Stanley.

Not that constant franchise relocation is a massive problem. At least, not according to those with a vested interest in the league.

"I really don't see any long-term issues that would threaten the league," said Bill Geivett, Colorado's director of player personnel.

In fact, the three moves in the last year (Helena to Provo, Butte, Mont., to Casper and Medicine Hat, Alberta, to Helena) were either completely necessary, or made complete sense.

Utah County's population of 350,000 was the largest in the country without a professional sports team, and the move from Helena to Provo gave the franchise the largest market in the league. Butte's facilities were known to be horrendous, and Medicine Hat failed to average 1,000 fans per game last season.

Nonetheless, the moves speak to another obstacle the PBL faces - shoddy facilities.

The Butte Copper Kings played on Montana Tech's baseball field. Only problem was, Montana Tech hadn't had a baseball team in 50 years. Medicine Hat's field wasn't much better.

Of the current home ballparks, Missoula and Idaho Falls don't conform to Major League Baseball standards, much as Tani Field didn't when the Rockies played there for a year. Missoula is trying to build a park to replace Lindborg-Cregg Field, but is also having trouble coming up with cash.

"One thing that I know has been a concern is the facilities in the league," Geivett said. "We're fortunate in the league to have really good facilities at Mike Lansing Field. I would say that's the thing in talking with other farm directors that have been disgruntled with in the past. That's been about the main concern I've heard."

If towns aren't willing to cough up enough dough for stadium construction, then a never-ending cycle of franchise relocation seems possible.

Either that, or teams will be forced to play in sub-standard facilities, making Mike Lansing Field and its sparkling clubhouse seem palatial.

"Right now, there isn't a whole lot of talk about expansion," Stanley said.

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