Though San Antonio has shelved talks for a new ballpark, officials in Amarillo will continue discussions with the owners of the San Antonio Missions (Class AA; Texas League).
Amarillo has been working with the Elmore Sports Group on a ballpark that would be built for the relocating Missions. For some time, that plan has been viewed as being contingent on what decision leaders in San Antonio rendered on a proposed downtown ballpark for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League).
Earlier this week, San Antonio mayor Ivy Taylor said that plans for a new Triple-A facility are on hold. Financial limitations prevented the city from budgeting for a ballpark this year, meaning that the venue could not open in 2019.
San Antonio will have to decide how to proceed from here, specifically if/when new ballpark talks will resume and whether Triple-A baseball is still in the mix. While the Missions are likely to sign a new lease to remain at Nelson Wolff Stadium in the short run, Amarillo interim city manager Terry Childers says that the city wants to maintain a dialogue with the Elmore Sports Group. More from the Amarillo Globe-News:
“We are aware the mayor has indicated that they are not able to put a stadium in place prior to the 2019 season,” Childers said. “Just as Amarillo went through a process to approve the MPEV, San Antonio has a process to go through, and we have always understood that and are respectful of their process. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon, to get through the process.”
Amarillo leaders continue to be in close communication with Elmore Sports Group, owners of the San Antonio Missions and eight other minor league baseball teams, and key players with understanding of the team’s status, the release from the city said.
Clearing the site for the ballpark, often referred to as the multi-purpose event venue, is on schedule. City leaders have previously said a ballpark will not be built until a contract with a team has been secured.
“We remain highly optimistic in our efforts to attract a minor league baseball team to Amarillo, Texas,” Childers said.
The ultimate question in this case is what the Elmore Sports Group will decide to do with the Missions. San Antonio has its advantages as a market and, if indications are that new ballpark talks will eventually resume, there might be an incentive to wait.
Otherwise, there are a few options. Amarillo is still in picture, and talk of Wichita pursuing the Missions has picked up in recent weeks. A push in Lubbock for a referendum on a new ballpark for the Missions recently fell short, but it is possible that that proposal’s backers will resume their efforts.
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