As expected, the Pecos League is expressing interest in Amarillo’s Potter County Stadium. Before the independent league makes a decision, however, it wants more assurances about the ballpark’s upkeep.
At the end of last week, it was confirmed that the American Association was pulling out of Amarillo. Potter County Stadium, which served as one of two facilities for the Texas AirHogs, was criticized for its poor conditions throughout the 2016 season, prompting the decision from the league to remove the AirHogs from the facility.
Southern Independent Baseball, which owns the AirHogs, has a lease agreement at Potter County Stadium that covers the 2017 season. It was reported that the Pecos League commissioner Andrew Dunn is interested in placing an expansion team at Potter County Stadium, provided that the league could secure a sublease.
During a visit to Amarillo on Monday, Dunn confirmed the league’s interest. Potter County will have to sign off on any proposed sublease, but Dunn also emphasized that Potter County Stadium will need to be in better shape before it once again hosts professional baseball. More from the Amarillo Globe-News:
A massive cleanup of the stadium will have to take place before it is playable again, Dunn said.
A quick tour of the stadium on Monday showed it will take a lot of work. Pigeons, empty paper cups and plastic bottles along with abandoned and used baseball equipment are just a few of the nuisances Dunn and the Pecos League will have to deal with before they can begin addressing larger issues such as fixing the playing surface.
“I don’t know how we’re going to get the stadium to where it needs to be,” Dunn said. “It’s got to improve. They canceled games last year … Potter County is not going to do anything. We’re going to have to improve the surface of the facility. We’re going to have to take on the project of saying, ‘That’s what condition the field is in Oct. 17. What condition will it be on May 19?’ That’s the bottom line.”
Dunn said that the prospective franchise would be called the Train Robbers. The Pecos League has also been linked to another former American Association facility, Joplin’s Joe Becker Stadium.