The 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.
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