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Vegas: We’re not paying for new 51s ballpark

Las Vegas 51sLas Vegas officials say the city is highly unlikely to contribute to construction of a new Las Vegas 51s (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) ballpark, forcing team officials to come up with a Plan B.

The 51s requested help from the city even though the ballpark is being built in an unincorporated area just outside the city limits in Clark County, between Vegas and Summerlin. The ballpark would be part of a larger $450 million development planned by Hughes Corp., a partial owner of the 51s.

Now, in most cities, it would be unusual for a city to pay for a new ballpark outside its city limits. But Vegas is not your usual city: there’s a close interplay between the city and Clark County, and the rationale here is that even though the 51s have a 10-year lease for Cashman Field, the city is targeting that area for a big redevelopment, and paying the team to move is a defensible expense for the city.

Defensible, perhaps, but not happening, according to Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and 51s lead owner Steve Mack. Still, there’s still a chance a deal can be done, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

First, annex the property into the city, she recommended. Or second, get the county to foot the stadium construction cost because the venue is technically in unincorporated county. Or third, she said, get Howard Hughes to finance the 51s ballpark as part of its $450 million The Shops at Summerlin project.

The 51s’ owners might not be drawing much political traction for their ballpark proposal for Summerlin, but they also are in no rush either. In October 2012, the 51s won approval for a 10-year lease extension from the LVCVA board at the 9,334-seat Cashman Field.

As noted by local politicos, there are a lot of moving parts to a 51s ballpark plan, so don’t expect anything to happen soon. Vegas will need to decide how it wants to work on the Cashman Field site, the owners will need to decide if putting up some money would grease the skids, and more than likely the owners will need to work with the city and Clark County on annexation.

RELATED STORIES: Las Vegas: We want to keep 51s; Sale of Las Vegas 51s finalized; new owners pitch Summerlin ballpark; Future of Vegas baseball in Summerlin?; Will new 51s lease yield new Las Vegas ballpark?; Short-term Cashman Field lease approved; future of ballpark still in doubt; Vegas delays 51s lease; future of Cashman Field in doubt


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