We have major movement on a new Amarillo ballpark for the relocating San Antonio Missions (Class AA; Texas League), as team owner Elmore Sports Group and the city come to terms on a lease for a new 2019 lease.
The Elmore Sports Group had already committed to an Amarillo move as part of a 2019 multi-team move that includes the shift of the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) to San Antonio and the Helena Brewers (Rookie; Pioneer League) to Colorado Springs. So while it was assumed a new lease was the inevitable outcome, it took some time to come to terms.
The terms, per Amarillo.com, are pretty straightforward. Elmore Sports Group will pay a total of $400,000 annually, with $225,000 going into a capital maintenance fund and $175,000 going to pay down facility debt. Elmore Sports Group will control all revenue (concessions, gate, revenue from 1,000 parking spots, suites, naming rights) from the multiuse facility, which is also expected to host professional soccer and other events. The lease runs from April 1, 2019, through Dec. 31, 2048, although there’s an out in 2035, where the Elmore Sports Group can request a renovation. If the renovation is denied, Elmore Sports Group will have the ability to leave the ballpark in 2038. From Amarillo.com:
“It is the highest rent in the Texas League,” said Alex Fairly of the Fairly Group of Amarillo, who helped broker the deal between the two parties. “I’m highly confident of that.”
“It’s a lot longer than most leases, and we designed it in a way that would indicate a very long-term commitment to Amarillo,” said D.G. Elmore, chairman of the Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based Elmore Sports Group. “We wanted to put in a significant refurbishment and update in 20 years.
“No. 1, we know that’s when those kind of things need to be done. This is not the first time we’ve done a ballpark. We know at what time things need to be fixed and upgraded. So we signed that knowing that it can also go up to 40 years from now. This is about my children’s children that we have a relationship with the city of Amarillo.”
The new lease also has a non-relocation clause, binding the team to the city.
As noted, the relocated Texas League team will be the main tenant at the new facility. But it’s being designed to host pro soccer as well, and the startup USL D3 league has expressed interest in the market.
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