The Billings Mustangs (Rookie; Pioneer League) will continue playing at Dehler Park, as the team has finalized a lease extension with the city.
In a deal that has been in the works for some time, the Mustangs will ultimately stay at Dehler Park through at least the 2026 season. Furthermore, the team is expected to pay an increased rent–going from $30,000 annually to $60,000 annually–which will help facilitate future improvements to the ballpark.
Negotiations between the Mustangs and the city have come closer to resolution in recent weeks. While changes to certain details of lease had to be made earlier this week, the two sides ultimately came together on a pact that was approved by the Billings City Council. More from The Billings Gazette:
A council subcommittee has been negotiating the ballpark lease with Dave Heller, the Mustangs’ managing partner. The most recent edition of the proposed agreement was distributed to council members over the weekend, and city staff and Heller were making changes right up until Monday evening.
While Heller praised the work of city staff, he said he objected to an “Exhibit B” included in the agreement that he saw for the first time at 3 p.m. Monday. The exhibit, he said, would have required terminating the ballclub’s long-term groundskeeper because he lacks the formal certification required in the exhibit.
In the end, the council voted 8-1, with Brent Cromley voting no and Angela Cimmino and Larry Brewster absent, to approve the lease without the exhibit.
“Tina (Volek, the city administrator) and I have spent probably 200 hours on this matter going back to November 2015,” Heller told the council. “Sometimes the sausage-making isn’t pretty, but the sausage comes out pretty good in the end.”
Dehler Park has been the Mustangs’ home since it opened in 2008.