The Pacific Coast League may pull the plug on the sale of the Tucson Padres baseball team to a group of El Paso investors if the City Council doesn’t sign a binding contract today with the group, the El Paso Times reported.
“If the City Council were to put off its final approval, or put the deal in jeopardy, that would significantly change the basis for our approval, and we would have to re-evaluate the situation, both internally and with the current owner of the club,” PCL President Branch Rickey said in an email to El Paso City Manager Joyce Wilson on Monday.
“We strongly respect the right of the City Council and the citizens of El Paso to determine the criteria under which it would welcome Triple-A baseball,” the email said. “However, the conditions that prevail relative to the sale and relocation of this franchise need to be addressed promptly and not become victim to any series of ambiguous proposals or open-ended processes.”
The City Council today is expected to vote on its contract with MountainStar Sports Group, the private investors who have received preliminary approval to buy and relocate the Triple-A Tucson club to El Paso, the Times said.
The PCL’s board of directors also is expected to meet today to finalize the sale of the Tucson team to MountainStar pending the council’s approval of the contract, the paper reported.
5:48am 8/1/12 — PCL OKs Triple-A Baseball in El Paso
By ABQnews Staff
Triple-A baseball is very close to coming to El Paso, the El Paso Times reported.
The Pacific Coast League on Monday told the city that the league had approved the sale of a team to a group of local investors known as MountainStar Sports Group of El Paso, the Times said.
A letter to City Manager Joyce Wilson says, in effect, that the sale of a team to the El Paso group is all but a formality, the paper reported.
The City Council in June committed to building a $50 million downtown baseball stadium if a team were secured, and the 7,000- to 9,000-seat stadium would be built where City Hall is now located and could open as soon as April 2014, the Times said.
El Paso businessmen Paul Foster and Joshua Hunt, partners in MountainStar Sports Group, have said they expected to hear from the league this month whether they would be able to get the Tucson Padres Triple-A team, although the team was not mentioned in a letter from PCL President Branch B. Rickey.
El Paso has been without a Major League Baseball-affiliated team since 2004, when the local AA franchise was sold to an out-of-town company, which moved the team to Springfield, Mo., the Times said.