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International League Could Find New Home for Red Wings in 2018

Rochester Red Wings

There is an arrangement in place for the Rochester Red Wings to play elsewhere in 2018 if a Frontier Field lease is not finalized, according to International League president Randy Mobley

Last August, the Red Wings and Monroe County revealed that they had come to terms on an agreement in principal for a 10-year lease at Frontier Field. The two sides have been unable to finalize their agreement in the months since, however, putting the Red Wings in a position where they are occupying the ballpark on a month-to-month basis.

With the 2018 season approaching, the International League is warning that it has arrangements for the Red Wings to play elsewhere, and that they could be put into place if a lease is not finalized. The parties are continuing to work on an agreement that secures the team’s place at Frontier Field, but Mobley is expected to set deadlines for completing a lease. More from The Democrat & Chronicle:

League president Randy Mobley said Friday he will establish deadlines next week for Monroe County, which owns the stadium, and the ballclub to get a deal done. The parties agreed in principle to a new 10-year lease last August but haven’t been able to finalize the agreement.

“We do have arrangements that we can implement if we need to,’’ Mobley said in regards to the Red Wings moving their games. “It’s not a threat, it’s just a matter of fact for the position we’re in at this time. We can’t go into the season at Frontier Field with no agreement when the rug could be pulled out from under us at any point. That’s a situation we can’t expose ourselves to.’’

Mobley would not reveal what the league’s contingency plan for the Red Wings is, but it’s possible that dates could be secured in Syracuse or Buffalo, the two closest IL members, and make it easy for Rochester fans to attend. The Red Wings are presently occupying Frontier Field on a month-to-month arrangement.

On Wednesday, the county delivered an updated draft lease to the Red Wings that did not move the needle on any of the main issues, team CEO/president Naomi Silver said.

According to The Democrat & Chronicle, one of the major concerns that the Red Wings have is whether the county will support future upgrades to Frontier Field. The team submitted an application last summer in hopes of obtaining $6 million in state funding for capital improvements, but securing the funds is contingent on finalizing a long-term agreement with Monroe County. It has also previously been reported that Monroe County wants even more revenue from the team to cover the $8 million in debt on the ballpark still to be paid back between now and 2024.

The Red Wings have played at Frontier Field since 1997.

RELATED STORIES: Could Rochester Red Wings Relocate in 2018?Red Wings, Monroe County Still Working on Frontier Field LeaseRed Wings Agree to New Frontier Field LeaseRochester Red Wings Locked in Lease Dispute

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