Mesquite, TX is being considered as a potential home for an independent Atlantic League expansion team, as circuit and city officials confirm preliminary discussions.
There are few details at this point about how plans in Mesquite would take shape, but the city is being considered for an expansion Atlantic League team that would play in a new ballpark. For the Atlantic League, Mesquite would represent its second entry in Texas, joining the Sugar Land Skeeters–who have played at Constellation Field since 2012.
Preliminary discussions between the Atlantic League and Mesquite officials have been confirmed by key players in the process, including Atlantic League president Rick White and Mesquite mayor Stan Pickett. There are no final plans in place, but White believes that the Mesquite market is ripe for a new Atlantic League team and ballpark, while Pickett sounds intrigued by the economic implications the endeavor could carry. More from WFAA:
White says Mesquite’s density and access make it the perfect location for its ninth team. Mayor Pickett says the city having a team can be a great economic driver.
White told WFAA that the ballpark could be a great fixture in the community and part of a larger mixed-used development. If approved the ballpark wouldn’t open until 2021.
Pickett says he cannot put it into numbers just yet how much of an economic boom this minor league could be. But he urges people to consider the number of jobs that could be created and private-public partnerships that could be formed.
“We need more of that in Mesquite for our kids. I think it’s more than just one group coming in and saying ‘we wanna play ball.’ I think it’s something that encompasses our entire business community,” said Pickett.
Located just east of Dallas, Mesquite boasts a population of 142,816, per 2018 U.S. Census estimates. The Atlantic League will feature seven clubs in fixed homes next season, with a Road Warriors entry rounding out an eight-team slate. Plans are moving forward for a new downtown Gastonia, NC ballpark that will host an Atlantic League squad, with that facility expected to open in time for the 2021 season.