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Mystery groups still pursuing Bevos for El Paso

Portland BeaversTwo mystery groups are still looking at buying the Portland Beavers and moving the team to El Paso, but ballpark issues will probably prevent the move of the PCL team to Texas — at least the way things stand right now.

As first reported on Ballpark Digest, two groups are exploring a possible purchase of the Portland Beavers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) for the El Paso market. Quite honestly, we’re not pumped up about El Paso as a Triple-A market: It’s the #98 TV market in the country, about the same size as Colorado Springs, Davenport and Baton Rouge. It’s not an especially affluent market, though; the average household income is only $46,921, and crime stats run a little ahead of the national average.

But it has been regarded as a good baseball market — especially with Jim Paul running the old El Paso Diablos (Class AA; Texas League) — which is why it’s not summarily dismissed in talk about the PCL moving there.

The two groups seeking the Beavers certainly have been quiet — almost too quiet to be taken seriously. The plan for both, we’re told, is to have a team play at Cohen Stadium until a new ballpark can be built. Now, Cohen Stadium is in pretty rough shape, and though some argue it could be fixed up, we’re not so sure bringing the place up to Triple-A specs would be a wise investment. Jim Paul argues it could be done for $8 million, but we disagree: it’s a whole lot more than just adding seats and recarpeting the clubhouse to bring the old ballpark up to Triple-A standards.

We continue to hear the most likely move for the Beavers is to split next season between Petco Park and Lake Elsinore.

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