ROSEMONT, IL (June 5, 2017) – Beijing Shougang will be making their league debut at the Ballpark in Rosemont against the Chicago Bandits in a 4-game series that kicks off tomorrow, Tuesday, June 6th at 11:05 a.m. CT. The following games in the series are Wednesday, June 7th at 7:05 p.m., Thursday, June 8th at 7:05 p.m., and concluding on Friday, June 9th at 7:35 p.m.- all games are CT. Photo opportunities available after the game by sending an RSVP to Alex at email@example.com. Tickets are available for purchase now at: http://chicagobandits.com/single-game-tickets/. The complete 2017 Chicago Bandits schedule is available at: https://chicagobandits.com/schedule/
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) announced the addition of a sixth affiliate team earlier this spring. The team, Beijing Shougang, is managed by the Chinese Softball Association (CSA) and will be made up of players currently in the national team pool for CSA, along with a select few American team members.
Although the team is managed by CSA, its eventual permanent home location for NPF competition will be located in the United States and announced at a later date. This season, Beijing Shougang will play all "home" games in current home venues of the other five affiliate NPF teams.
This move is an unprecedented and outstanding step forward for Chinese Softball and a ground-breaking experiment for the Chinese softball team.
"We hope that participating in NPF competition will accelerate the skills advancement of our players in the near term," explained the CEO of Beijing Shougang Sports, Qin Xiaowen. "Looking ahead, the company plans to invest in the future development of professional baseball and softball and promote the development of other related projects in China."
The 2017 schedule which was announced earlier this year has been adjusted and revised to accommodate even competition between the six teams. That schedule consists of 150 regular season games, 50 for each team, broken down to 25 home and 25 away games.
The roster for Beijing Shougang is expected to be at maximum capacity of 26 players with the majority of those players being Chinese and identified in the CSA pool of athletes training for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, where softball will once again be on the slate of medal sports. The team expects to add a handful of American players that will complement the existing Chinese roster and enhance the team's competitiveness for NPF competition, specifically in the area of pitching.
"This is a landmark move for the league and one we are extremely proud to announce," commented NPF Commissioner, Cheri Kempf. "It continues to be a priority of the league, to include the world's best players and to impact the growth, development and popularity of this incredible game on a global scale. This addition, on top of the involvement of Softball Australia, which was announced earlier this year, speaks loudly to our goals and commitment to doing that."
Opening Day for the 2017 NPF regular season was June 1 when Akron visited Chicago for a 3-game series. The Chicago Bandits won the 3-game series, 2-1. The upcoming series against Beijing Shougang is a 4-game series, beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, June 6th at 11:05 a.m., with the subsequent games on Wednesday, June 7th at 7:05 p.m., Thursday, June 8th at 7:05 p.m., and the conclusion of the series on Friday, June 9th at 7:35 p.m.
The top 4 finishers in the regular season will qualify for the 2017 Championship Series held at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge, LA, August 17 - 20.
The full season of NPF action is available through subscription on NPFTV, the league's dedicated and exclusive home for all 150 regular season games.
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success. The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Akron Racers, Beijing Shougang Eagles, Chicago Bandits, Scrap Yard Dawgs, Texas Charge and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2017 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada and China, among which are the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women's softball.
Chinese Softball Association was founded in Beijing in 1979. It is a member of the All-China Sports Federation and affiliated to the WBSC. It is responsible for the development, promotion and management of the sport of softball in China.
Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. Located in Rosemont, the Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch players to further their careers at a professional level, and the roster has included such names as Jennie Finch, Stacy May-Johnson, Monica Abbott and Tammy Williams. The four-time and back-to-back NPF Champions play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, the only stadium in the country built for a women's professional team. The 2016 season marked the Bandits fourth championship in their 12th season in the NPF.
Rosemont, Illinois, Chicagoland’s business and entertainment suburb, is conveniently located five minutes from O’Hare Airport and twenty minutes from Chicago’s downtown. Rosemont is home to the Allstate Arena, Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Fashion Outlets of Chicago, MB Financial Park entertainment district, Rosemont Theatre and a wide variety of hotels and restaurants. Rosemont continues to grow and evolve based on the new vision of Mayor Bradley A. Stephens. For more information, visit www.Rosemont.com.
Carol Fox and Associates (CF&A) is Chicago’s largest firm specializing in arts, entertainment and lifestyle marketing. As a full-service agency with award-winning expertise in media relations, digital media, event planning and group sales, CF&A has the ability to conduct campaigns that are fully integrated, increasing their impact and effectiveness in building audiences and selling tickets. Lauded for its creative and strategic approach, CF&A works with a wide array of clients in one of the country’s most competitive markets. Carol Fox and Associates has received national certification as a WOMEN’S BUSINESS ENTERPRISE by the WOMEN’S BUSINESS ENTERPRISE NATIONAL COUNCIL (WBENC).