Though it is not finalized, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (High A; Carolina League) are closer to securing a lease extension for TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.
The Pelicans are playing out the final season of their original 20-year lease for the ballpark, which first opened in 1999. A proposed three-year extension is gaining traction with city officials, as the Myrtle Beach City Council approved it on its first reading on Tuesday. Under the currently proposed terms, the Pelicans would sign a three-year lease extension. During that period, the team and local officials would work with an architectural firm to map out future ballpark upgrades that would be included in an eventual longer term lease agreement.
As noted, the three-year lease extension has not been finalized to this point, but city and team officials–including Pelicans owner Chuck Greenberg–are optimistic that an extension will be completed soon. More from WBTW.com:
“That three-year period gives us time to jointly pick a consultant who will come in and say, alright, your baseball stadium is 20 years old,” [city spokesperson Mark] Kruea said. “It needs this and that. Then, figure out who pays for this and that.”
Greenberg says over the next three years, the team, city and county will look for a much longer deal.
“That’s what we’re contemplating here, but we’re not prejudging anything,” he said. “Let’s have the work done. Let’s get the advice of the experts and then we can go from there.”
Greenberg also says the Pelicans’ front office hasn’t thought of playing anywhere but Myrtle Beach.
The lease agreement is between the Pelicans, the city, and Horry County. A second city council reading for the proposed extension is required, and the county will have to sign off on the plan.