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Amarillo Sox: Yes, we do want new ballpark

New Amarillo ballpark

Talk about much ado over nothing: After Amarillo Sox (independent; American Association) GM Mark Lee once again said he’d prefer a Potter County Stadium renovation to a new ballpark, team ownership felt the need to step in to clarify things.

That Lee said this isn’t surprising — heck, he’s been saying the same thing for close to a year, when he first said he’d prefer the current ballpark be renovated — but that it’s causing a kerfuffle now, as opposed to when he made the same exact argument in the past. Lee’s point is simple: a convention center is the greater need in the market and it should be addressed first. And Lee freely admits Potter County Stadium, which opened in 1949, needs work. But Southern Independent Baseball Chairman Gary Elliston felt the need to intervene this time and say that yes, the team does indeed want a new downtown ballpark as part of a larger convention-center complex:

SIB has partnered with the city of Amarillo and its master developer, Wallace Bajjali Development Partners, in the $113 million project to create a stadium, convention center hotel and parking garage downtown.

SIB will lease Amarillo’s new stadium and operate it, filling its calendar with games and other events, Elliston said.

But the entire project has been mired in years of contract negotiations that have pushed a potential opening date for the $30.3 million stadium into 2017.

The bigger the project, the longer it takes to get all the moving parts in place. And by tying a new ballpark to a much larger project, SIB and Wallace Bajjali Development Partners have a lot of moving parts to address.

Image courtesy of city of Amarillo.

RELATED STORIES: Progress continues on new Amarillo ballpark; Amarillo decision: Build new or renovate existing ballpark; RFQ for Amarillo multipurpose venue released; No Gold Sox for you!; Amarillo Gold Sox to return?; New name on tap for Amarillo ballpark; American Association lands Amarillo


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