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Naturals to Remain Double-A Affiliate of the Kansas City Royals

February 12, 2021 - Double-A Central League (AA Central) - Northwest Arkansas Naturals News Release

Springdale, Ark. - The Northwest Arkansas Naturals have announced that they have accepted Major League Baseball's invitation to be a member of its all-new Professional Development League System by signing a 10-year player development league license agreement with MLB.

As part of the agreement, the Naturals will continue to serve as the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, continuing a partnership between Northwest Arkansas and Kansas City that dates to 2008. The Naturals will now compete in a new 10-team league titled "Double-A Central" that takes over for the former Texas League.

"We are thrilled to continue our strong partnership with the Kansas City Royals," said Justin Cole, Vice President/General Manager of the Naturals. "Through our affiliation with the Royals, we have been able to showcase many exciting players on their way to Kansas City while also providing great family entertainment to baseball fans throughout Northwest Arkansas."

In addition to the Naturals, the Royals will have the Omaha Storm Chasers as their Triple-A affiliate, the Quad Cities River Bandits as their High-A affiliate, and the Columbia Fireflies as their Low-A affiliate.

The Naturals 2021 playing schedule will be announced at a later date, as well as further information on 2021 ticketing and ballpark policies. Fans are encouraged to visit for future updates.

The New Double-A Central

As a member of the all-new Double-A Central, the Naturals will be a part of a 10-team league that includes all eight members of the former Texas League along with two new additions as The Wichita Wind Surge (Twins) and the San Antonio Missions (Padres) will be joining the league. San Antonio returns to Double-A after a one-year stint in Triple-A while Wichita returns to affiliated baseball for the first time since 2007.

The league will be divided into two divisions (North and South) with the Naturals sharing the 'North Division' with Arkansas (Mariners), Springfield (Cardinals), Tulsa (Dodgers), and Wichita while the 'South Division' consists of Amarillo (Diamondbacks), Corpus Christi (Astros), Frisco (Rangers), Midland (A's), and San Antonio.

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