With the Colorado Springs Sky Sox not even gone yet, it remains to be seen if they will leave any time soon, the city of Colorado Springs and Dave Elmore, owner of the Sky Sox, are discussing the possibility to keep minor league baseball in the city with a downtown ballpark. But this downtown ballpark will not one that can be the home for a AAA team.
It may look like a strange situation. The Sky Sox have not even signed a deal with the city
of San Antonio yet, as the latter is still discussing how to fund a new downtown AAA ballpark. And that is on which it is all depending: A move of the Sky Sox to San Antonio. Next to that the San Antonio Missions (AA, Texas League), must find a new home too. Still Amarillo is the best option but also in that city they are still looking for a way to fund the stadium.
Juicy detail in this whole chain reaction is that San Antonio has been advised by the Los Angeles Dodgers on the proposed downtown ballpark. The pitch is: lure a Minor League Triple-A team from Colorado and build the downtown ballpark by 2019.
More external parties advised to make the stadium part of a downtown renaissance project. If San Antonio wants an example, they should visit Montgomery AL. That city constructed Riverwalk Stadium in an old train stadium near downtown and revived the run down parts of downtown Montgomery as a part of it. The whole area is blossoming again.
Anyhow, back to Colorado Springs… The city is going to discuss the feasibility of an A team and see what that looks like,” said mayor Suthers, pointing to discussions he has had with mayors in Portland, Oregon, and Spokane, Washington. Those cities each lost Triple-A teams and replaced them with A Short Season teams in the Northwest League, that offers just 38 home games. But the only suitable team that comes to mind are the Helena Brewers and they play in the Rookie level Pioneer League. Elmore owns two Advanced A teams in the Inland Empire 66ers and the Lynchburg HillCats, but it doesn’t make sense to move one of those teams to Colorado Springs. The California League is looking to move two teams to the East Coast to play in the Carolina League (Advanced A), so a they won’t move a team from the Carolina League to the West. So far the California League is a bus league, meaning that every road trip can be done by bus. IF Elmore would move the 66ers to Colorado Springs, it would be a hell of a bus trip for the other Cal League teams. Take Modesto for example, from there it is 1,186 miles.
You can only wonder why Elmore wants to move an A team to Colorado Springs. When he announced that he wanted to move the Sky Sox, one of the reasons was the altitude….
The replacement team will have to deal with the very same problem.
Anyhow, the move of the Helena Brewers depends on the move of the Colorado Springs SkySox. The move of the SkySox depends on the move of the San Antonio Missions. The move of the Missions depends on the willingness of the city of Amarillo to invest in a new AA ballpark.
Interwoven or what?