Although the Edmonton Prospects (summer collegiate; Western Canada Baseball League) could return in 2020, Edmonton officials are negotiating with another group to take over operations of 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. Prospects ownership was among the groups to submit a bid, proposing a long-term agreement that would include renovations to RE/MAX Field itself along with new development in the surrounding area. Edmonton is not pursuing that plan, however, as city officials have confirmed that they are negotiating an agreement that would lead to a separate group taking over operations at RE/MAX Field.
That leaves questions about the long-term plans for the ballpark, but it does not shut the door on the possibility of the Prospects returning for the 2020 season. Both city officials and team ownership have confirmed that negotiations over a lease to cover next season are underway, though there is not a finalized agreement at this time. More from the Edmonton Journal:
With a deal yet to be finalized, [said spokeswoman Carol] Hurst said the city is working on a separate deal allowing the Prospects to play one final season. The deal is still being negotiated, but the Prospects are already gearing up for the 2020 season with season tickets and flex packs on sale.
Team owner Patrick Cassidy said the Western Canadian Baseball League was informed by the city it could start booking dates for the Prospects’ upcoming season as well as the league’s 2020 all-star game.
“We confirm that negotiations are ongoing and that at this time, no deal has been struck,” Cassidy said in an email to Postmedia.
Edmonton has not specified who it is negotiating a new operating agreement with and exactly what that plan that will entail, other than that it will include some baseball-related use. One other bid that was previously identified publicly was from a group led by former Edmonton Oiler Dr. Randy Gregg. The pitch from Gregg’s group called for RE/MAX Field to continue accommodating some baseball-related uses, but also focused on hosting more event dates by featuring a broader array of programming, including non-sporting events.
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.
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