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United League Baseball: We’re interested in Tucson

United League BaseballThe independent United League Baseball circuit is interested in placing a team in Tucson’s Kino Stadium this season, as John Bryant makes an offer to Pima County for a lease.

The offer calls for a team playing at Kino Stadium as well as control of the ballpark’s concessions. From the Arizona Daily Star:

“We wish to permanently locate an independent, minor-league professional baseball team in Tucson beginning in the 2014 season which would make its home at Kino Sports Complex,” wrote Bryant, shortly after touring the facility with county officials earlier this month.

The proposal offers the county-run stadium district roughly $72,000 for year-round occupancy of the team offices and seasonal use of the stadium.

Reunion Sports Group also wants to take over concessions at the stadium, offering the county 20 percent of the gross concession revenues.

Now, whether or not Pima County can actually move ahead with such a lease remains to be seen. As a safety net, the El Paso Chihuahuas (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) put down money on a 2014 lease when it was not totally certain a new El Paso ballpark would be finished. (The team played as the Tucson Padres for the past several seasons). And a soccer team also has a lease.

That such an offering for the 2014 season is coming on Jan. 14 is somewhat surprising: it’s really hard to see a pro baseball outfit launching operations for 2014 and tackling a new concessions deal so late in the sales cycle. Still, improvisation seems to be the motif for United League Baseball this year: we still don’t have a schedule and don’t know exactly what teams are playing this season, and some team sites lie fallow, with no updates since last October.


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