With summer-collegiate seasons finished, teams are looking toward 2014 — including the expansion Yakima team slated to play at Yakima County Stadium.
The big reason why there was no baseball played this season at Yakima County Stadium: the former Yakima Bears (short season A; Northwest League) still had a lease on the facility and paid rent on it for 2013. In fact, by incurring no operating expenses and still collecting rent, it probably was one of the better years on the financial front for the facility. From the Yakima Herald:
“When the Bears announced they were moving they told us they’d pay the amount agreed upon in their lease,” said Greg Stewart, State Fair Park president and general manager. “Last week they forwarded a check to us. They’ve been very professional about all of this and have handled the situation very well.”
The 2,654-seat ballpark, which opened in 1993, hosted Class 2A state baseball semifinals, and consolation and championship games in May. But unlike the previous 20 years, when the Bears would play 38 Northwest League games in the facility, it has since been unused.
“A couple of people have asked to use it for free, but we can’t afford to do that,” Stewart said. “It would cost too much money to even put toilet paper in the rest rooms for us to simply let someone use it for nothing.”
Meanwhile, the new tenant at Yakima County Stadium is ramping up for 2014, as Pacific Baseball Ventures has launched a website, yakimabaseball.com, to solicit team names and promote the new franchise.
“We are excited to get started in the market,” said PBV vice-president Zachary Fraser. “We want feedback and input from the very fans that are proud to call the Yakima Valley their home. This will help us develop a brand that is something that the whole community can truly rally around.”
RELATED STORIES: WCL expands to Yakima for 2014, subject to ballpark lease; Possible WCL expansion to northern Cal led by big names; West Coast League at 11 for 2013; New for 2013: Medford Rogues; Medford take initial steps toward WCL team; New for 2013: Victoria HarbourCats; Walkers expand baseball holdings to Klamath Falls
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