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Franchise owners offer $12.1M toward new El Paso ballpark

New El Paso ballpark

To close a funding gap in construction of a new downtown El Paso ballpark, team owners MountainStar Sports have offered to pay $12.1 million to cover the overages.

Under the proposal, the city would borrow $60.8 million toward the new ballpark instead of the original $52.8 million. (Why is the city borrowing more? Municipalities typically can borrow money more cheaply than private individuals and corporations.) The team’s lease would double, starting at $400,000 per year, and be extended to a 30-year term from the current 25-year term. The City Council will debate the measure next Tuesday.

From the El Paso Times:

“Our focus has always been on delivering a first-class, state-of-the-art Triple-A facility,” said MountainStar member Josh Hunt during a news conference to announce the proposal on Thursday. To remain steadfast in that commitment, Hunt added, the group was willing “to make some significant concessions to our lease agreement with the city.”

If a new lease contract is approved, MountainStar’s annual rent payment to the city for use of the stadium would double to $400,000 a year, and escalate 10 percent every five years. The term of the lease and non-relocation agreement would be extended from 25 to 30 years….

Under the original contract, MountainStar would have contributed $17.3 million in rent, parking and ticket surcharge revenues to the cost of the ballpark over 25 years. With the proposed revisions, that would come to about $29.4 million over 30 years.

MountainStar Sports has already purchased the Tuscon Padres (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) and will move to the team to the new ballpark for the 2014 season.

Rendering courtesy Populous.

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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