Everyone is excited about a new Texas League team moving to Amarillo in 2019, but one sad bit of fallout to pass along: The move most likely means the demolition of Potter County Memorial Stadium in the future.
Potter County Memorial Stadium opened in 1949 and is a classic ballpark of the era, with covered grandstand and concessions located in the back. The Texas League’s Amarillo Gold Sox played there between 1959 and 1982, with independent-league teams (Amarillo Dillas, Amarillo Gold Sox, Amarillo Thunderheads, Texas AirHogs) playing there between 1994 and 2016 (save a one-year break in 2005). Indy baseball slowly faded in Amarillo, and the poor condition of Potter County Memorial Stadium was a reason why. Both the independent Pecos League and the startup Southwest League expressed an interest in a lease, but with a new affiliated team moving to Amarillo, an indy lease seems highly unlikely.
With no indy tenant and only San Jacinto Christian Academy playing there, it does seem likely that the former Dilla Villa will bite the dust. From myhighplains.com:
However, Potter County Judge Nancy Tanner says their resources are limited and they can’t afford to pay for the renovations needed at the stadium.
Tanner also says she appreciates the history of the stadium but its time is long passed.
“It is a lot of history,” said Judge Tanner. “A lot of history involved. History happened there but, it’s not a historic building.”
Hall of Famers Tony Gwynn and Joe Pepitone both played here during their minor league careers, but Judge Tanner says that is not enough to justify the expense of keeping the stadium.
RELATED STORIES: Elmore Sports Group, Amarillo Sign Ballpark LOI; Potter County Passes on Pecos League Lease; Amarillo Lone Stars Still Finalizing Ballpark Lease; Potter County Watching for Amarillo’s Decision; Pecos League Eyes Amarillo; Texas AirHogs Splitting from Amarillo