The concept of a new Pueblo, CO ballpark appears to be on the table, with officials debating whether it fits into a larger youth-sports complex plan.
Last year, there appeared to be some momentum behind the idea of constructing a new ballpark in Pueblo, with a Rookie level Pioneer League franchise in play as a tenant. However, the plan was rejected by city officials, who instead pushed a much cheaper redevelopment plan that included plenty of parking and soccer fields.
The issue of whether to construct an MiLB ballpark looks to be back at the forefront of discussions, as two Pueblo County commissioners are throwing their support behind a pitch for a professional facility in a downtown youth-sports complex. A downtown youth-sports complex was one of the projects included in a 2016 ballot question approved by voters, which authorized the county to keep an estimated $66 million in tax revenues in exchange for carrying out a list of projects. However, some city officials are skeptical of claims that a new ballpark is an appropriate fit for the complex concept, and want more public discussion on the issue. More from The Pueblo West View:
City Council has been part of those discussions, but Council President Chris Nicoll and others now want a public discussion about whether that stadium plan fits with the “$8 million youth sports facility” that voters endorsed 18 months ago when they approved Question 1A.
Commissioners Sal Pace and Terry Hart insist it does because the baseball team owner wants additional youth fields and will build several hotels as part of the project.
In an interview last week, Hart said the commissioners have said all along the project can use that $8 million that was earmarked for a youth facility.
Nicoll and District 4 Councilman Ray Aguilera aren’t so sure.
A Pioneer League team would still be in play. 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. With the Helena Brewers set to relocate to Colorado Springs in 2019, the league’s footprint will see a shift eastward, and Pueblo would also be another addition on the east side of the circuit.