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Diablos lease to be bought out

El Paso DiablosThe El Paso City Council will vote tonight to terminate the El Paso Diablos (independent; American Association) lease for Cohen Stadium, paying $300,000 to the team.

The Cohen Stadium lease runs through 2016, and in the past few years the team has made some significant investments in the ballpark, including a new scoreboard (which can be resold or reused) and a new swimming pool, to the tune of $750,000 or so. It’s a complicated issue: the Diablos owner do owe the city money, so coming out with a valuation wasn’t easy. Still, with the Diablos seeking a buyout with the arrival of a Triple-A team in El Paso next season, the valuation is probably pretty fair.

The buyout probably means the end of Cohen Stadium as we know it: there will no need for a second professional-baseball ballpark in El Paso, and the land is worth more to the city than any baseball operation. Built in 1990, Cohen Stadium is certainly a functional ballpark, through not necessarily the flashiest. It sounds like the next use for the ballpark will be as home for a water park.

RELATED STORIES: El Paso breaks ground on new ballpark; El Paso City Hall goes down, making way for new ballpark; El Paso to set up corporation to oversee ballpark construction, management; Populous lands El Paso ballpark design contract; City, Diablos talking end of Cohen Stadium lease; Voters approve El Paso hotel/motel tax for new ballpark; El Paso ballpark debate enters final stretch; El Paso: ballpark will happen with or without hotel tax; El Paso: No federal issues at play in ballpark lawsuit; MountainStar Sports takes control of Tucson Padres; El Paso ballpark foes file suit in federal court to shut down project; MountainStar Sports buys Tucson Padres; Opponents: El Paso ballpark debate not overMayor won’t veto ballpark lease; PCL to El Paso in 2014El Paso ballpark approval squeaks throughPCL approves move of T-Padres to El Paso — if lease approved


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