UPLAND (CBSLA.com)  —  An Inland Empire little league is finding itself in a tussle between two cities and might have to cut their playing schedule in half.

CBS2’s Greg Mills reported officials with both cities are trying to resolve the conflict but the kids are still caught in the middle.

The field on South Campus Avenue in Upland is scheduled to be closed Monday if an agreement isn’t reached.

Saturday was sign-up day for 500 little leaguers of the Upland National Little League. It’s a league, that before now, never charged a registration fee.

“Oh, I don’t think my kids would play if they had to pay a fee,” said Brianna Botello.

The mother of three has had kids playing in the league since 2007. And she has also volunteered as a team mom — volunteers raise money for scoreboards, batting cages and snack bars.

Practice starts in a month. And for the first time since 1954, they won’t have two fields at their disposal seven days a week for practice and games.

The city of Ontario owns the field and rents it for $1 a year. But the lease is up and the league is out.

“She said they’re trying to close it down because they own it,” Liyah said.

They is the city of Ontario. Many of the parents were blaming Ontario. But is Upland also to blame?

At the root of the problem is a golf course in Ontario. Upland owns 24 percent of it, Ontario owns the rest, but Upland says they want to own it all.

A spokesperson for Ontario told Mills their last city manager offered up the baseball field and $1 million cash and was turned down. The current city manager, Al Boling, told Mills he offered deals before the lease expired and since it expired and he hasn’t heard back from Upland.

The deal? Upland’s portion of the golf course for the baseball field, a parcel in downtown Upland and cash.

For now, at least, Upland National Little League finds themselves locked out of the field they have used for decades.

 

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