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Amarillo companies commit to ballpark suites

New Amarillo ballpark

Proponents of a new downtown Amarillo Multi-Purpose Event Venue (MPEV) say they have commitments for 12 suite purchases in the new facility, as a referendum on the project is set for the beginning of November.

There are several groups pitching voters on the pros and cons of a new ballpark — MPEV in the electoral parlance — in advance of a November nonbinding referendum. Local business leaders say a downtown events venue would be an economic investment in downtown Amarillo, and the combination of the MPEV with a new convention hotel would attract groups and meetings. Opponents say there’s no guarantee a ballpark will generate economic activity and that the financial risk is too much for a city already pushing against borrowing limits. Addressing that, one of the pro-ballpark groups says they’ve gathered commitments for suite leases, a sign that the community will financially support a new ballpark. From

Cori Burns, who pre-reserved a suite says, “All twelve of the corporate suites for the ballpark have been pre-reserved. What that means is that basically we got twelve — actually thirteen, now — companies that are willing to allocate their marketing budget towards renting and reserving this corporate suite if the ballpark goes through.”

Burns, co-owner of Estacar Companies, believes the suites will help with the development of her company.

She tells us the suites aren’t cheap.

Burns says, “They can range from 10,000 dollars upwards to 30,000 dollars for a corporate suite. We don’t really know yet because it hasn’t come to fruition, but that is pretty typical if you include that type of venue in your marketing budget for business development.”

It’s interesting to see this development: usually teams are responsible for selling suites (though it’s not totally unusual to see some level of suite revenue dedicated to ballpark debt). In this case the Amarillo Thunderheads (independent; American Association) are not involved in the suite sales, and the team’s application to run the new facility has been put on hold until after a final decision on the ballpark is reached. Amarillo is a good-sized market — the four-county CSA has a population of 249,881.

RELATED STORIES: Debate over new Amarillo ballpark rages on; Amarillo ballpark battle in works this fall; Future of new Amarillo ballpark in doubt

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