Baseball: Auckland Tuatara to play all games at home in favoured ABL season model

While the NZ Warriors and the Wellington Phoenix have been forced to play their season across the Tasman, the situation may be reversed for the Auckland Tuatara.

New Zealand's young Australian Baseball Franchise will play their entire season at home, under a proposal that's currently the frontrunner to be given the green light by the competition.

The concept involves three teams joining the Tuatara in New Zealand in a breakaway conference, playing in a condensed season schedule reduced from 40 to 24 games.

One of those team's would be Geelong-Korea, who'd be based full time in NZ, with the other two teams playing home and away series in Australia, before completing their schedule in Auckland.

The competition's remaining four teams would battle it out in another Australia-based conference.

The winner of each would then square off in a finals series, the location of which is yet to be determined.

"The great opportunity out of this is that Auckland Tuatara would play every game at home," Australia Baseball chief executive Cam Vale tells Newshub. "Which is a phenomenal outcome for their third season in the competition."

The season - which normally starts in November - will now be played through January, with a championship series beginning in early February.

"For the first time ever, teams who are playing in the championship series wouldn't have played each other in the regular season," he adds.

Vale says the model has been presented to all of the team's owners and is currently the leading option for the upcoming season, helping mitigate the risk of travelling back and forth across the Tasman.

"I give all the credit to the [Tuatara] management and the ownership….they've really engaged the community incredibly well and we think this is the option that we need to pursue."

The obvious challenges surrounding teams quarantining and being allowed entry to New Zealand cast a large shadow on the idea.

The season model will be finalised early next week, at which point they'll begin working through those logistics, Vale says.

"We'll then start to have the conversations both in Australia and NZ with Government officials and potentially state Governments, as well as venues regarding can it work and what conditions can it work under.

"Because our season doesn't start until post Christmas, we are going to be quite patient to try to work through what the best regulations are around protecting the community first and foremost, and then secondly, having a competition up and running.

"We're pretty prepared to put forward these proposals, but we think the right thing is to have our own idea locked in about how we're going to run the season...lock that in and then have those conversations."

The alternative solution would see the Tuatara base themselves in Adelaide to play out the season, which is an option Auckland Tuatara chief executive Regan Wood admits they may have to consider.

"That's not a preferred option at all, really, but we'll consider it," Wood tells Newshub. 

"We want to play in New Zealand. We want to play in front of our own people.

"But we've got to look at going to Australia as well, and if that's the right decision financially for us, then we'll do that."

Wood believes Auckland has proven itself as a premier ABL venue with a committed fanbase, and the ABL's support in the proposed model is a huge vote of confidence.

"We're absolutely excited and celebrating the moment. We've been working on it for a while and looking at the scenarios...but the hard work starts now."