ROUND ROCK, Texas - Coming off an exciting 2016 season that saw over 7,000,000 fans attend games league-wide, and culminated with the El Paso Chihuahuas first League Championship, the Pacific Coast League announced Thursday the official schedule for the 2017 season.
The PCL is comprised of 16 teams with four, four-team divisions, equally divided among two conferences - American and Pacific. Each club will play 142 games, including 110 games within their conference. The remaining 32 contests come against the opposing conference, with eight, four-game series that are equally split between home and road.
The rebranded New Orleans Baby Cakes kick off the League's 115th campaign with a 7:00 p.m. CT matchup against the Memphis Redbirds on Thursday, April 6 in New Orleans. The reigning PCL Champions open their slate that same night against the Las Vegas 51s in El Paso. The remaining 12 clubs also start their seasons with contests that evening. The first half of the schedule is highlighted by a PCL Championship Series rematch between El Paso and the Oklahoma City Dodgers; the clubs will play a four-game series from May 19-22 at Southwest University Ballpark.
The Tacoma Rainiers' ballpark, Cheney Stadium, will be the home of the 2017 Triple-All Star festivities. This is the first time the Tacoma franchise has hosted the event, which concludes with the 30th annual Triple-A All-Star Game. The Triple-A Home Run Derby will be held on Monday, July 10th, and the CHI Franciscan Health Triple-A All-Star Game presented by Gildan takes place on Wednesday, July 12; the game will be aired nationally on MLB Network.
All 16 clubs wrap up their regular season schedules with Labor Day (September 4) matinees. The winners of the two divisions in each conference will face off in the playoffs beginning Wednesday, September 6. The conference winners will then meet in the PCL Championship Series from September 12-17. All playoff series are in the best-of-five format.
The 2017 Pacific Coast League Champion will face the International League Champion in a one-game, winner-take-all contest at the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders' PNC Field on Tuesday, September 19. NBC Sports Network will again air the live broadcast of the Triple-A season's final game.