Bruce Johnston is seeking to bring a Pacific Association team to Napa, CA by 2018, and has begun negotiations for a home ballpark.
Johnston, who lives in Napa and founded the Johnston Real Estate Service group, wants to place a franchise at Storm Field. The primary home of Napa Valley College’s baseball program, Storm Field would be put to use for an independent league team in the summer of 2018 if Johnston can finalize terms with the university.
Discussions are underway as Johnston tries to finalize an agreement by June 30, the deadline given to him by the Pacific Association. Following a meeting with the school’s board of trustees on Thursday, it was confirmed that talks between Johnston and the university will continue. The two sides still have to figure out several conditions for a deal that would allow the franchise to occupy the facility over the summer months, including possible ballpark upgrades. More from the Napa Valley Register:
“I gave them a nonrefundable deposit and said, if you give me until the 30th of June of 2017, I will either move forward or not. If I don’t, you get to keep my deposit. If I do, then it’s play ball on the first of June, 2018,” Johnston said Friday.
“The sponsorships and advertisers are one thing. Securing the field is another thing. It doesn’t make any difference if I get all the support in the world if I have no place to play.”
There are several projects that Johnston is looking into, including increasing the seating capacity, maybe modifying the press box, and creating an area for concessions.
NVC does not have any issues with parking.
“There’s a lot of those issues that we’re going to have to work through,” said Johnston. “Obviously, it’s going to call for some investment on my part. There’s a lot that’s up in the air that we just haven’t resolved yet.”
The prospective team is currently billed labeled as the Napa Silverados. The Pacific Association played at four clubs in 2016.