A new downtown Amarillo ballpark is financially feasible and capable of hosting events other than professional baseball throughout the year, according to a study presented to the City Council by Conventions Sports & Leisure.
The report estimated that a market the size of Amarillo could support an independent-league team and draw between 3,700 and 4,200 fans a game. Currently there are two independent leagues operating in Texas (American Association and United League Baseball) with a third (Atlantic League) slated to enter the state when a new Sugar Land ballpark is completed. Given the past history with United League Baseball (and an outstanding balance on rent owed to Potter County), the city really has only two choices right now.
The key to making a new downtown ballpark work, according to CSL, is scheduling events other than baseball. The American Association, for example, will have a minimum of 50 home games (sans exhibitions) after expanding the schedule for 2011. That’s not enough: a multiuse facility should be able to sell 150 events a year.
The information was presented to the City Commission; more information and a more solid ballpark proposal will come at a future meeting. A copy of the Powerpoint presentation in PDF format is attached: click here to read it.
As a proposed downtown ballpark moves forward, one sad fact emerges: the area probably isn’t large enough to support two facilities, which could mean changes for Potter County Stadium, the former Amarillo Dilla Villa. The ballpark has faced a potential downsizing before, and we’re sure the issue will come up again should the city move ahead with a new facility.
Image of Potter County Stadium courtesy of the Amarillo Dillas. Photo by Kathy Leigh.
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