Amarillo officials are confirming that talks continue to take place on a new downtown ballpark, but are noncommittal on when a deal will be reached.
Amarillo has been in pursuit of an affiliated Minor League Baseball team, which would play at a multi-purpose event venue (MPEV) that is proposed for a downtown location. The city has been tied to the San Antonio Missions (Class AA; Texas League), a franchise that has previously discussed relocating if a new ballpark in San Antonio is constructed for a Class AAA Pacific Coast League franchise.
Talks for a new ballpark in San Antonio stalled because of funding issues last September, but Amarillo officials indicated afterwards that they were continuing talks on MPEV. In the early weeks of 2017, it seems that those discussions are still taking place, but Amarillo officials are not offering a firm timeline for when they believe the negotiations will be completed. More from the Amarillo Globe-News:
Jerry Hodge, director of the LGC subcommittee charged with bringing an affiliated baseball team to the table, however, removed the briefing from the schedule after hearing about the comments. He said the subcommittee is talking with two teams.
“This is not done and will not be done by Feb. 1,” said Jerry Hodge, the LGC subcommittee chairman. “(Burkett) shouldn’t be popping off about something he doesn’t know about. I’m very disappointed in him and think he’s being very, very irresponsible, and in fact I’m ashamed of him.”
[Councilman Randy] Burkett serves on the LGC board in addition to being a councilman.
Burkett later clarified, “Stating we will have a deal by 2/1/17 is not what I said. I said we hope to, but it could drag on until May for all we know. Contract negotiations are expected to go back and forth like any other deal. If we can’t all agree, then there would be no deal at all.”
The proposal that was discussed for much of last year would have allowed the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) to move to San Antonio, clearing the way for the Missions to relocate.
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