A SURPRISE twist will see Lismore host Australian Baseball League games at Albert Park this week.
The Blue Sox will host Canberra in four games from Friday under a partnership announced by Deputy Premier John Barilaro, while Lismore will also stage the first ABL All-Star Game since 2017 later this year.
Sydney and the All-Star Game will return to Lismore again next season under the partnership.
The Blue Sox season was hanging in the balance following the introduction of border closures around the country due to COVID-19.
"Border closures have forced the cancellation of 12 Blue Sox games, resulting in the loss of ticket sales and potentially threatening the future of the team," Barilaro said.
"Providing this support will enable the Blue Sox to play the remaining games of the 2020/21 season while also giving fans the opportunity to see Australia's best All-Stars smashing some home runs at Albert Park.
"The Blue Sox games will be broadcast on television and ABL YouTube while the All-Star Games will showcase regional NSW to a live international audience."
The four-game series will run from Friday to Sunday and be free to attend.
Baseball Australia chief executive Cam Vale said the NSW Government's support was instrumental in allowing the Blue Sox to compete in the remainder of the season.
"Thanks to the NSW Government we have found not only a solution for the Blue Sox, but an incredibly creative opportunity with an All Stars weekend, continuing the international exposure of the 2020/21 ABL season in these challenging times," Vale said.
"Albert Park has been a backbone of our Little League National Championships, and the support we have received from the Far North Coast baseball community, Lismore City Council and NSW Government has been nothing short of phenomenal."