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Pueblo Passes on MiLB in Downtown Development Plan

A potential ballpark for a relocating Rookie Pioneer League team in Pueblo, Col. has been rejected by city officials, who are instead pushing a much cheaper redevelopment plan that includes plenty of parking and soccer fields.

A site currently hosting the downtown Power Stations 5&6 near the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo was under study as a potential ballpark and redevelopment area, with the old stations used in an Oriole Park-style construction. But the proposal from a city/county task force rejected the ballpark development and instead proposed a much more modest use of the site, tearing down the old power stations and clearing the land for soccer fields. Why? The cost. A ballpark development would cost roughly $44 million, with the soccer plan costing $16 million. From the Pueblo Chieftain:

Council will have a public hearing next Monday on whether to preserve Stations 5&6 as a landmark, but the idea of building ballfields or sporting fields Downtown didn’t seem very appealing Monday night.

“I’m sorry guys, but we need something Downtown that will work for us 12 months a year,” District 1 Councilman Bob Schilling said.

This does not necessarily kill the project. Pueblo County, and not necessarily the city, has been the prime proponent of a ballpark at the downtown site. But without the city’s support — and given the fact that county officials were part of the task force recommending the cheaper development plan — it makes a ballpark a much more difficult proposition.

Pueblo has been eyed by MiLB and the Pioneer League as the future home of a team needing a new ballpark in the next four-to-five years because of lease issues. (Indeed, planning has progressed to the point where a team owner was given permission to explore the Pueblo market.) Pueblo would also be a travel partner for the relocating Helena Brewers, moving to Colorado Springs in 2019.

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