Peninsula Oilers face an uncertain future

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Peninsula Oilers of the Alaska Baseball League have been around for 45 years, but financial uncertainty has put the clubs future in jeopardy.

“It’s pretty rough at the moment,” said General Manager Victoria Smith.

The club took a major hit this off season, and didn’t raise the amount of money it has in years past.

“It mostly started when the new smoking laws went into effect, and that affected our gaming turnout,” said Smith. “That’s where most of our money comes from, our bingo hall, and pull tab room.”

Smith said the club is trying to cut costs where it can, and currently has a donation drive on the club’swebsite. The donations range from $25 for a player’s meal all the way up to $1,000 to cover a player’s airfare.

There isn’t a goal amount to raise, but the Oilers say they need to raise at least $20,000 to send players home this summer. Which is why getting through the 2019 season financially is the main goal, and then they’ll begin thinking about the 2020 season.

"We really want everybody to remember what a big part of the community we are,” said Smith.

The general manager went on to mention that Oilers are the only current ABL team who hasn’t had to sit out the past 45 seasons due to finances, and doesn’t hope to start anytime soon.

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