As they debate a proposed Rookie-level Pioneer League ballpark, Pueblo, CO officials are asking a developer involved in the project to submit a business plan.
Discussions in Pueblo have centered around the possible construction of a new downtown ballpark that would accommodate a relocating Pioneer League team. A developer involved in the project–whose identity has not been revealed publicly–would move the Pioneer League team to Pubelo and construct three new hotels with a combined 300 rooms near the ballpark.
Under the concept that is envisioned, the privately financed hotels could accommodate visitors to the ballpark and tournament attendees at a nearby sports complex that would be funded separately from the MiLB facility. According to Pueblo City Council president Chris Nicoll, the city has asked the developer for a business plan to get more specific details about the concept, but that the developer cannot accommodate that request as of now. More from The Pueblo Chieftian:
Nicoll said that the developer told him that a formal business plan wasn’t something he could provide at this time.
“It was still in his head is basically what he said,” Nicoll said Monday night at a council meeting. “We need to have that as a council. I think those are reasonable questions and we need to be able to see that and know how this all works.”
Part of the overall project the county has pitched is to build six new baseball fields at the Runyon Sports Complex using tax revenues from the voter-approved 1A tax fund for public improvements.
Pueblo County’s current funding proposal for the ballpark calls for the county to issue taxable certificates of participation for up to $25 million, to be backed by tax increment financing. The county is proposing to assume all of the debt risk, but has asked the city to provide 3% of its 3.7% sales and use tax plus 4.3% of its lodging tax revenue generated in the area for 25 years. Per the Chieftian, the county is also asking the city to “direct the Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority to remove identified parcels out of any existing urban renewal project areas that are producing minimal amounts of tax revenues and comprising a new project area from those identified parcels.”
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.
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