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Is New Downtown Ballpark Needed to Keep Pro Ball in Colorado Springs?

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The idea of a new downtown Colorado Springs ballpark is back on the table, as Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) owner Dave Elmore is quoted as saying he’s willing to bring a rookie Pioneer League team to the city, but only to a new facility.

Colorado Springs officials have toyed with the idea of a new ballpark over the past several years, but this is the first time Elmore has been openly for the idea. The new ballpark would be made necessary should the Sky Sox move to San Antonio, with the San Antonio Missions (Class AA; Texas League) moving to Amarillo. And while the move of the Helena Brewers would certainly stretch the boundaries of the Pioneer League, it would keep pro baseball in Colorado Springs. Now, keep in mind Elmore isn’t quoted directly by anyone, but rather through information presented second-hand from city officials — in this case, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers. From the Colorado Springs Gazette:

“Elmore Sr. seemed to imply he was only interested in moving an A team here if we had a downtown stadium,” Suthers said. “I don’t know — that was the message we received before — so that’s subject to discussion.”…

“We’re going to continue to discuss the feasibility of an A team and see what that looks like,” said Suthers, pointing to discussions he has had with mayors in Portland, Ore., and Spokane, Wash. Those cities each lost Triple-A teams and replaced them with short-season Class-A teams in the Northwest League, another bus-only league that offers just 38 home games.

Suthers on Tuesday also reiterated that altitude was the problem that has led the Elmore Group to seek a move for the Sky Sox.

If Elmore is successful in persuading Colorado Springs officials in building a new downtown ballpark for a Pioneer League team, he will have achieved a remarkable accomplishment: He will have negotiated for three new ballparks opening potentially in the same season.

Photo of the current Colorado Springs Sky Sox ballpark by Mark Cryan.

RELATED STORIES: Baseball Across America: Colorado Springs; Proposed Colorado Springs Sky Sox Ballpark SidelinedProposed Colorado Springs ballpark in trouble?; Results of Colorado Springs ballpark poll under wraps; Mayor requests state aid for new downtown Colorado Springs ballpark; Who is pushing new Colorado Springs ballpark?; New downtown ballpark under consideration in Colorado Springs

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