Top Menu

Pacific Coast League expected to decide El Paso bid for baseball this week

Proposed El Paso ballpark

The Pacific Coast League is expected to decide this week whether to allow the sale of the Tucson Padres to a group seeking to move the franchise to a new downtown El Paso ballpark.

The principals behind MountainStar Sports Group made their pitch to PCL officials less than two weeks ago, laying out their plans for the team, the advantages of the El Paso market and the status of a proposed downtown ballpark. And while there’s been some inevitable opposition arising against public financing of a new downtown ballpark — the position from MountainStar Sports Group is that a ballpark is inevitable, even if voters reject a fall ballot question on raising hotel taxes to pay for the facility — so far elected officials have been supportive of the project, which has the opportunity to transform the western side of downtown El Paso.

Under the plan, a new $50-million ballpark could open for the 2014 season. The T-Padres, meanwhile, just signed a lease to stay at Kino Stadium for the 2013 season.

“The plan is that if we acquire the team, they will continue to play where they’re playing today until we have the stadium built,” Paul Foster, one of the four  MountainStar Sports Group principals, told the El Paso Times.

A sale of the T-Padres and a subsequent move to El Paso under stable ownership would also bring a new chapter to what has been one of the more problematic franchises for the PCL in the last 15 years. Portland Family Entertainment bought the team and convinced the city to renovate PGE Park, only to see the financial structure of the deal crumble, leaving the city on the hook for unpaid bills. The team was subsequently sold twice as the Portland Beavers before being sold to Jeff Moorad and investors for a move to Escondido, Cal. That plan collapsed, and the team has been in a holding pattern in Tucson, where Mike Feder and crew have done a pretty good job of running the team under some uncertain circumstances.

Image courtesy of the City of El Paso.

RELATED STORIES: El Paso: Let’s sell Cohen Stadium to Tigua tribe; T-Padres back in Kino Stadium for 2013One side effect of new El Paso ballpark: return of UTEP baseballEl Paso ownership group pitches PCLEl Paso approves ballpark for Triple-A teamFirst look: El Paso ballpark renderingsDiablos casualty of new El Paso ballparkDowntown ballpark planning moving forward in El PasoEl Paso to debate ballpark bond issueEl Paso group seeking downtown ballpark, T-PadsMoorad to Escondido: We need quick action on ballparkObstacles to new ballparks in California: not as bleak as expectedEscondido moving forward with business park on proposed ballpark propertyCity, not Moorad group, to acquire Escondido landEscondido mayor: Time to scrap new-ballpark planMoorad: Leaving Padres in Tucson a possibilityEscondido ballpark vote put off indefinitelyEscondido ballpark vote delayed;State government could kill Escondido T-Pods ballparkNew for 2011: Tucson Padres;Escondido approves Triple-A ballpark — with reservationsMoorad group, Escondido sign MOU for new ballparkEscondido council fills vacancy in advance of ballpark voteCrunch time for new Escondido ballparkPadres raise ante in Escondido ballpark negotiationsEscondido ballpark vote delayed again; new council will decidePadres make it official: Beavers to Tucson in 2011Election shows mixed support for new Escondido ballparkTuesday elections could determine fate of BevosBevos to Tucson for 2011Escondido ballpark vote delayed after pollution found at siteFate of Bevos in the air until November, maybe DecemberPadres pitch one-sided lease to EscondidoEscondido: Show us some money, PadresEscondido in, San Marcos out of Bevos ballpark mix


Share your news with the baseball community. Send it to us at

Are you a subscriber to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter? You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.

Join Ballpark Digest on Facebook and on Twitter!

Follow Ballpark Digest on Google + and add us to your circles!

, , , , , , , , ,