The International League has set a March 1 deadline for the Rochester Red Wings and Monroe County to come to terms on an agreement for Frontier Field. Otherwise, the league warns, the Red Wings could play their home games elsewhere.
With the season approaching, the Red Wings and Monroe County have still not finalized a lease agreement for 2018 and beyond, prompting International League president Randy Mobley to issue a deadline. Mobley has said that the two sides must come to a resolution by March 1, or the league could employ an arrangement that allows the Red Wings to play their home games elsewhere.
In order to meet the March 1 deadline, the Red Wings and Monroe County would have to provide one of three documents to the league. That could include a lease for 2018 and beyond, a one-year lease, or a document guaranteeing that the ballpark will be made available to the Red Wings on an uninterrupted basis until a successor lease is secured. If none of these documents are provided, the league could then decide to place the Red Wings elsewhere for 2018. More from The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle:
Mobley said that in the absence of such documentation, “the league will determine when and where the games originally scheduled for Frontier Field will be played.’’
Mobley would not provide details of the league’s contingency plan. Scheduling games in Buffalo or Syracuse, the closest IL cities to Rochester, is possible.
“We’re not going to get into that until it becomes necessary,’’ Mobley told the Democrat and Chronicle.
He expressed disappointment that lease talks have “taken the path that is has.’’
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.
To this point, several concerns have been raised during the discussions. While the Red Wings want assurances from the county that future Frontier Field upgrades will take place, the county is seeking more revenue from the team to cover the $8 million in debt on the ballpark still to be paid back between now and 2024. Frontier Field has been the team’s home since 1997.
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