According to a study, Pueblo, CO could support a Minor League Baseball team that would play out of a new ballpark in the city.
A Rookie-league Pioneer League team could be in play for Pueblo, where officials are debating whether a new ballpark could fit into a larger youth-sports complex plan. A downtown youth-sports complex was one of the projects included in a 2016 ballot question approved by voters, and Pueblo County and City of Pueblo officials have been debating whether a new ballpark is an appropriate fit for the complex concept.
While discussions over the project are expected to continue, a study did support the notion of Pueblo as a Minor League Baseball market. According to a report from the Arizona-based TLHocking & Associates, which was originally hired by Pueblo County in January 2017 to explore the project, Pueblo would compare favorably to existing markets. More from The Pueblo Chieftain:
The study compared other minor league cities in the league, the city in which the team interested in relocating to Pueblo currently plays, along with the socio-economic demographics of Pueblo and the surrounding region.
The results of preliminary analysis showed that although Pueblo ranked lower in most socio-economic characteristics such as per capita income, unemployment and median home values, there were significant similarities to some cities in the league that have the highest attendance for games in the league.
“When compared to most of the socio-economic characteristics, Pueblo is nearly identical,” the study said.
The study says that because of the comparison to one of the town’s with the highest attendance in the league, Pueblo’s projected attendance would be 3,000 people a game.
Plans outlined in the study called for the ballpark to designed to host multiple types of events in addition to baseball, including concerts and sports such as soccer and football. Pueblo has been eyed by MiLB and the Pioneer League as the future home of a team needing a new ballpark in the next two-to-three years because of lease issues. Furthermore, the Helena Brewers are set to relocate to Colorado Springs in 2019, so Pueblo could provide the Pioneer League with another market in its eastern footprint.