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Cost Concerns Stall 51’s Ballpark Plan

Las Vegas 51s

Discussions on a new ballpark in Summerlin for the Las Vegas 51s (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) have stalled, with Clark County officials citing the cost as an obstacle.

It has been known that the 51s are looking to replace the obsolete Cashman Field with a state-of-the-art ballpark that models facilities built in cities such as Charlotte and El Paso. One difference, however, is that the 51s want to employ the formula from those cities in a location outside of Las Vegas rather than in the city’s downtown.

Summerlin has been on the team’s radar, and a private/public partnership was reportedly on the table. The 51s, Clark County, and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (which owns Cashman Field) would have contributed to the cost of a $65 million project. The Howard Hughes Corporation, meanwhile, would have donated a location in downtown Summerlin.

At some point, talks broke down, with the county and The Howard Hughes Corporation sharing differing accounts. County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak says that through this agreement, The Howard Hughes Corporation wound up raising the price tag by $20 million. Representatives from Howard Hughes, however, insist that the agreement can still be reached at the original cost.

For the 51s, the issue will be finding a way to revive the ballpark talks. The question will be whether these parties, particularly the county and The Howard Hughes Corporation, can get back on the same page. More from the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

“I’m an optimist and I really hope that we’re going to be able to get this thing put together now that the season’s behind us,” 51s President and Chief Operating Officer Don Logan said.

[Howard Hughes senior vice president of community and government relations Tom] Warden said Hughes Corp. is looking forward to continuing discussions to building a state-of-the-art facility. Sisolak said he was surprised to hear that Hughes Corp. was now back down to around $65 million for the stadium.

“I’m not interested in negotiating with Howard Hughes out of Texas. I’m not interested,” Sisolak said. “If I get burned once, I don’t touch the iron the second time. You already burned me once. I don’t do that.

“Now if somebody else was involved with Howard Hughes up here, I don’t know if there’s another way to make this work, but I am not interested in negotiating with this group out of Texas.”

The 51s have a lease at Cashman Field through 2022. However, with the issues at Cashman Field fairly well documented, it seems likely that the team will want ballpark talks to pick up as quickly as possible.

RELATED STORIES: 51s Still Pursuing New BallparkRickey: Cashman Field not long-term option for PCL;  Vegas: We’re not paying for new 51s ballpark; 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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