First it was the Warriors, then the Football Kingz and the Breakers now New Zealand has been offered a franchise in the Australian Baseball League.

Baseball Australia has called for expressions of interest as they look to expand their six-team ABL for the first time and New Zealand is seen as an obvious landing spot.

Baseball New Zealand officials received an official letter from BA asking them to put together a bid to join the league as early as next season.

"We have been in talks for some months now," Baseball New Zealand chief executive Ryan Flynn told NZME. "The letter does indicate that they are basically open for business.


"Domestically new franchises within Australia, across Asia - the big three in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan and then of course the natural ally or rival however you want to phrase it New Zealand. We exist in so many other leagues in Australia where we work together and this is a natural fit we believe and the time is right now to capitalise."

While other locations in Australia and Asia have been afforded the same opportunity New Zealand ticks a number of boxes.

It is understood a group of sponsors have already been secured.

"When you are talking about running the organization we are still waiting on some of the details of what they expect a 3 ½-4 months minor league season would cost us," Flynn said.

"But I do believe, talking to major sponsors that I can't name now, that we do have domestic support for one franchise in New Zealand to get this over the line."

The playing roster will call on a minimum of 11 local players with the rest of the roster made up of imports.

Baseball New Zealand has worked with major league clubs Arizona, San Diego and Baltimore before and could call on some of their minor league players during their off-season while they would certainly tap into the strong Asian leagues as well.

NZME understands the organization is close to announcing a partnership with the San Diego Padres and would certainly utilize that relationship to get top players.

The major stumbling block will be funding a facility capable of housing a professional ball club but Flynn thinks it is more realistic than people realise.

"We have gotten commitments from the World Baseball Softball Confederation and Major League Baseball and other parties - domestic and international - who have confirmed their support financially to help get this across the line," he said.

"The RFA [Regional Facilities Auckland] have been very supportive understanding what the sport needs to take the next step forward.

"I think we are very close to identifying a couple of pieces of land."

It would almost certainly take more than 12 months to get a stadium agreed upon, funded and constructed but Flynn thinks being ready for the summer of 2019-20 is realistic.

In the meantime he believes there are ways to join the league this time next year.

"I want to be aggressive but I want to be realistic - I would like to believe that we could jump in and that may take a different format or shape than many people would envision. It might be that we are a road team for the first year as a transition year. I would really like to believe that within 24 months that this will be very realistic for us."