Jeff Moorad and crew have agreed to several financial concessions regarding a new Triple-A ballpark in Escondido, Cal., but there’s a good chance the city will be seeking more before they go ahead with a $50-million facility.
The basics of the deal are the same — the city would borrow money to build the ballpark and the Tucson Padres (which apparently is the temporary name of the team until a name-the-franchise contest can be completed in Tucson) would receive all the revenues.
The changes are on the fringe of the deal: Moorad’s group would pick up any cost overruns past the $40 million slated for the ballpark itself; agree to a longer (30-year) lease; and contribute $5 million toward infrastructure improvements needed for the ballpark construction; and give up a request for 10 acres of land adjacent to the ballpark. The land could then be used by the city for development; short-term, it’s expected to serve as parking for games.
It’s not clear whether these concessions would be enough to sway the no votes on the Council. There’s still a lot of concern about the cost of the project: Besides the ballpark itself, there is between $13 million and $17 million needed to prepare the site for construction, including land acquisition, buying out businesses and moving a transit hub. Then there is the cost of borrowing the money; it’s expected the city will need to pay a higher-than-normal interest rate because of the precariousness of planned income streams into city redevelopment coffers.
In the meantime, the status of the franchise remains in limbo: Moorad has pushed back the closing of the purchase of the Portland Beavers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) to Dec. 20, leaving the team technically in the hands of Merritt Paulson for now. There’s still no lease for the team, and there’s apparently the chance Moorad could walk away from the purchase of the Bevos if the City Council rejects the ballpark proposal. Could end up being a sloppy situation all around.
RELATED STORIES: Escondido ballpark vote delayed again; new council will decide; Padres make it official: Beavers to Tucson in 2011; Election shows mixed support for new Escondido ballpark; Tuesday elections could determine fate of Bevos; Bevos to Tucson for 2011; Escondido ballpark vote delayed after pollution found at site; Fate of Bevos in the air until November, maybe December; Padres pitch one-sided lease to Escondido; Escondido: Show us some money, Padres; Escondido in, San Marcos out of Bevos ballpark mix; Portland Beavers to…Lake Elsinore?; Could bidding war erupt for Bevos?; Portland Bevos update: Tucson-bound?; Come 2011, where will Beavers play?; Paulson finalizes deal for PGE Park soccer conversion; whither the Bevos?; Paulson withdraws bid for Bevos ballpark in Beaverton; Decision on Bevos ballpark could go to Beaverton voters; Beaverton, Bevos reach agreement on new ballpark sans site; Land woes could kill Bevos ballpark in Beaverton; Picketers greet pro-Beavers rally in Beaverton; Landowners not thrilled with Beaverton Bevos ballpark plan; Bevos eye Beaverton for new ballpark site; Paulson withdraws request for Bevos ballpark in Lents; Portland to move ahead with soccer renovation, put off plans for Bevos ballpark; Thursday vote could determine Bevos ballpark fate; New Beavers ballpark lacks support on City Council; Bevos, city close to final funding proposal for new ballpark; Rose Quarter location officially off the table for new Bevos ballpark; Bevos ballpark plans back up in the air — and maybe doomed; Portland ballpark vote delayed as mayor adjusts site, financial plans; New Beavers ballpark wouldn’t happen until 2012 — at the earliest; Cost of Portland redevelopment mushrooms to almost $300 million; Crunching the numbers on a new Bevos ballpark; Portland proposes tearing down Memorial Coliseum for new Bevos ballpark; Portland City Council votes to move ahead with new Bevos ballpark — but takes $15 million from the equation; Paulson agrees to Portland’s financial demands; still may not be enough; Bevos ballpark plan runs into serious financial obstacles; Portland task force gives preliminary approval to new Bevos ballpark — with plenty of conditions; Portland ballpark discussion shifts to Rose Quarter; Decision on new Bevos ballpark location delayed; Will new ballpark fly in Lents?
Share your news with the baseball community. Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribers to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter see features before they’re posted to the site. You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.
Join Ballpark Digest on Facebook and on Twitter!