Potter County Memorial Stadium will be subleased to a local high school in 2017, closing the door on proposed deal with the Pecos League.
In 2016, the ballpark in Amarillo was a part-time home to the Texas AirHogs (independent; American Association), who also played home games in Grand Prairie. Following the season, the American Association pulled out of Potter County Memorial Stadium, citing poor playing conditions as a factor.
Southern Independent Baseball has a contract on the facility that runs through next season. At one point, the independent Pecos League was reported to be working in agree to a sublease with Southern Independent Baseball, a deal that would have allowed the facility to be used for professional baseball in 2017.
Ultimately, Southern Independent Baseball struck a sublease agreement with San Jacinto Christian Academy, which will use Potter County Memorial Stadium for its high school baseball program. More from the Amarillo Globe-News:
After 30 minutes of discussion, Potter County commissioners voted 4-1 to allow Southern Independent baseball’s Gary D. Elliston to remain the lease holder until September 2017, and they approved a sublease contract Elliston has made with San Jacinto Christian Academy.
Commissioners also said Elliston must make $5,217.05 of improvements to the stadium before Dec. 31 to complete the yearly $50,000 lease agreement for stadium up-keep.
“I will pay the five thousand out of my own pocket if I have to,” Elliston said. “It will get done. I’m happy with what took place today.”
The commissioners’ decision Monday means the Pecos League — a 12-team independent league baseball organization — is out of contention to lease Memorial Stadium from May to August, as was their original intent, said Potter County Judge Nancy Tanner.
“The Pecos League is out,” Tanner said. “That was part of what Mr Elliston wanted was a sublease (with the Pecos League). But the motion was made by commissioner (Mecry) Murguia to omit the Pecos League, specifically, and let Mr. Ellliston keep the additional year he has the contract and sublease to San Jacinto Christian Academy as well as the Great Southwest Collegiate League.
The Pecos League had already pitched a name and branding for the team, which was at one point was billed as the Amarillo Lone Stars. However, the league had made it clear that it wanted to improvements to Potter County Memorial Stadium’s fan and player amenities.