Questions continue to surround the future of the Edmonton Prospects (summer collegiate; Western Canada Baseball League), as other suitors are in the mix to lease RE/MAX Field.
Earlier this year, Edmonton officials declined an option to extend their lease with the Prospects to cover the 2020 season, deciding instead to open the facility to bids for a new 10-year lease. Two contenders known to be in the mix to lease the facility going forward include Prospects ownership, along with a separate group led by former Edmonton Oiler Dr. Randy Gregg.
The pitch from Gregg’s group calls for RE/MAX Field to continue accommodating some baseball-related uses, but also focuses on hosting more event dates by featuring a broader array of programming, including non-sporting events. In the case of the Prospects, team owner Patrick Cassidy notes that the organization would take an active role not just in reshaping RE/MAX Field, but in future planning for the land surrounding the ballpark. For now, the Prospects are awaiting a decision from the city to clarify their future, as Edmonton officials are expected to make a decision next month. More from the Edmonton Journal:
“We’ve got some fairly grandiose concepts and ideas for the area, not only for the ballpark but for some land around the ballpark and types of things that would really activate that whole River Crossing area,” Cassidy said Tuesday. His team was eliminated from the playoffs on Saturday in Okotoks.
The city’s River Crossing project is a proposed redevelopment in west Rossdale including houses, commercial space and a public park. A detailed plan for the project is expected to face council’s urban planning committee Sept. 3.
September is also the time interested groups can expect to hear back from the city on its decision, Cassidy said, but this puts the Prospects in a tricky situation. With the season just ending, now is the time to work on corporate sponsorships and renew season ticket subscriptions.
“It creates a lot of problems for us,” he said. “We would really like to be successful in getting this 10-year lease, but we also have to be prepared if we don’t.”
Formerly known as Telus Field, RE/MAX Field opened in 1995 as an affiliated Minor League Baseball facility for the Edmonton Trappers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League). It has not hosted an affiliated MiLB team since the Trappers moved to Round Rock, TX after the 2004 season, but has been more recently used for summer-collegiate action by the Prospects.