On Wednesday, officials confirmed that Amarillo will not be able to open its proposed downtown ballpark until at least 2019.
There were signs last fall that the facility’s opening could get pushed to 2019, as Amarillo was in the midst of hammering out terms to attract the San Antonio Missions (Class AA; Texas League). During a Local Government Corp. (LGC) meeting on Wednesday, it was confirmed that negotiations are still unfolding, but the prospect of opening a new facility before 2019 has diminished. More from the Amarillo-Globe News:
While the LGC met in executive session to discuss the negotiation of a lease for the event center and a management agreement with an affiliated team, [deputy city manager Bob] Cowell said delays to reach an agreement have made it impossible to design and construct the facility by spring 2018. If negotiations quickly take shape, the city might see a team in 2019. No updates on where those negotiations stand now were given during Wednesday’s LGC meeting.
There are several variables in this situation that still need to be addressed. Last year, San Antonio officials mulled whether to build a Triple-A caliber ballpark that could lead to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) moving to the city, thus allowing the Missions to relocate. Whether the ballpark proposal in San Antonio comes fruition remains to be seen, but Amarillo is still clearly intent on continuing to discuss a new facility.
Amarillo and Lubbock have both been discussing ballpark options for the Missions if the team does move. Wichita is also planning a facility of its own but, as we reported this morning, it is unlikely that the Texas League will expand its footprint to include the city, making it “a logical bet that Wichita is being positioned as a Plan B should a new San Antonio ballpark for a Triple-A team fall through — or if the Elmore Sports Group makes the decision to keep the Double-A team in San Antonio if a more modest ballpark solution comes down the pike.”
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