June 5, 2000
SEATTLE - The University of Washington baseball team has scheduled an eight-day trip to Cuba in September, during which the Huskies will take on teams comprised of Cuban National Team program players in a series of games in Havana.
The Huskies will depart from Seattle on August 31, 2000, and return on September 7. During the trip, Washington will play three games against the Cubans, as well as another game in which the two squads will mix, playing with half Huskies and half Cubans.
"This is a terrific opportunity for our team in a number of different ways," said head coach Ken Knutson, who just completed his eighth season at the helm. "From a baseball standpoint, it means additional practice and games against the world's top amateur players. But it is also a wonderful opportunity for the players to travel to a place where not many Americans have been recently. We're very much looking forward to the trip."
NCAA teams are allowed to take foreign trips once every four years. A foreign tour also allows teams to hold additional practices beyond the standard limits. The Husky baseball team last took a foreign trip in 1981, when the team toured Japan.
The trip is being organized by TranSports, a sport-related tour company in New Hampshire. Fans are invited and encouraged to join the Huskies on the trip and may purchase packages from TranSports for $2,300 per person (double occupancy). The cost of the package includes air fare, hotel accomodations, daily breakfast and dinner, a tour of Havana, bus transportation to and from the airport and games and an evening at the Tropicana nightclub.
The tour has room enough for up to 600 people. TranSports also takes care of gaining the appropriate visa clearances to allow for U.S. citizens' travel to Cuba.
For more information, go to the TranSports website at www.gotransports.com or by calling TranSports at (603) 471-9377. Interested individuals may also contact Sherri Eischen in the UW baseball office at (206) 543-9365. Non-refundable deposits of $500 are due by July 21 and final payment must be made by Aug. 2.
Any press wishing to cover the tour may contact Washington baseball media relations director Jeff Bechthold at (206) 543-2230, or contact TranSports directly.
Here's the preliminary itinerary for the trip:
Aug. 31 - Depart Seattle, arriving in Havana in the evening, Welcome reception
Sept. 1 - Havana sight-seeing in morning, Afternoon practice, Welcoming dinner
Sept. 2 - Morning open, Evening game
Sept. 3 - Optional tours to sports academy and cigar factory, Evening game
Sept. 4 - Baseball clinic with Cuban National Team, Evening at Tropicana nightclub
Sept. 5 - Free day to explore Havana, Evening game
Sept. 6 - Tour to Playa del Esta beaches, Evening game with split teams
Sept. 7 - Sight-seeing and shopping, Depart in afternoon, Arrive Seattle in evening.