The City of Adelanto, CA and the ownership of the bygone High Desert Mavericks (High A; California League) have reached a settlement over a disputed ballpark lease, with the city to pay $3.8 million to the team owners.
The conflict between the two sides has its origins in the city’s early 2016 decision to terminate the club’s Heritage Field lease. At the time, the city contended that a lease approved in 2012 that reduced the team’s rent to $1 while also shifting many fixed costs–including daily maintenance–to the Mavericks benefited a private business and not the public in violation of the California State Constitution. A temporary injunction was later granted to allow the team to remain at the ballpark, and the Mavericks played their final season there in 2016.
Now–as was revealed late last week–the two sides have settled a lawsuit originally filed by the club’s ownership, with the city agreeing to pay $3.8 million as part of the agreement. Of that payment, $1.5 million is slated to come from the city’s general fund immediately, with the remaining paid out in increments over a two-year window. More from the Daily Press:
The city has settled a lawsuit filed by the owners of the now-defunct High Desert Mavericks baseball team for $3.8 million, Mayor Gabriel Reyes confirmed.
Lawyers representing Main Street California, LLC, the Mavericks’ ownership group, originally sought close to $11 million, Reyes said.
The city will pay $1.5 million out of the general fund immediately, Reyes said. The remaining amount will be paid in monthly installments of about $95,800 over a 24-month period. The Council voted to settle during the closed session portion of Tuesday’s special meeting.
The $3.8 million settlement “is a lot better than the $10, $11 million that was being threatened,” Reyes said.
The Mavericks were one of two California League teams, along with the Bakersfield Blaze, that ceased operations after the 2016 season as part of a realignment at the High-A level that saw the California League drop to eight teams and the Carolina League grow to 10. The team’s former home, now known as Adelanto Stadium, remains in use for the High Desert Yardbirds (independent; Pecos League) and other events.