After months, if not years, of talk about possible locations for a new 51s ballpark, there is some positive news to announce as the 51s are “cautiously optimistic about a new stadium deal.”
This is what the Las Vegas Review-Journal headed.
After years of insecurity, the owners of the 51s seem to be optimistic to land a stadium deal that will move the team from near downtown Cashman Field to a location next to the Las Vegas Golden Knights’ practice facility near downtown Summerlin, about 15 miles west from the Strip.
“We hope to have something done by the end of the season,” 51s president Don Logan said last week. “We were shooting for the All-Star Break … (but) people are on vacation, people were traveling for business. There’s just so many things going on that everybody needs to weigh in on. … It’s tough.”
Vice president of community and government relations for team owner The Howard Hughes Corp, Tom Warden, pointed to the details of a project like an AAA ballpark, which has been discussed for almost five years: “We continue to work on the details of the new stadium, such as infrastructure, design and timing, but we are not yet at the point of a significant announcement,”
According to Minor League Baseball president Pat O’Conner, the health of the minor league baseball in Las Vegas is depending on a new stadium. The current stadium of the 51s is in disarray. In the recent past, the ballpark has shown several defects, so the club wants to move to a new ballpark rather yesterday than today.
But of course, money is a big factor in the eventual move. The Howard Hughes Company is the owner of the Las Vegas 51s and of the land, the projected stadium will be built on. It needs to be determined how much money each side will pay for the construction of the new ballpark.
Through the years it became clear that the City of Las Vegas wants the 51s out of Cashman Field. To make that even much clearer, the city council voted for bringing a United Soccer League team to Cashman Field, which could help the 51s move out of the deteriorating ballpark. With the move of the 51s, Cashman Field can turn into a soccer only facility.
There may be another issue for the 51s if the team has no stadium deal in place next year. Next year the Player Development Contract with the New York Mets will expire and the extension of the contract may be a hot potato for the Mets.
PCL president Branch Rickey III said the Mets have not talked to him about concerns with the stadium.
“We understand that as they look around and see so many of our Triple-A facilities, practically all of our Triple-A facilities, operating in enhanced circumstances, they are very much … wanting to see this project accomplished,” he said.
Let’s hope, the 51s will have a stadium deal in place at the end of the 2018 season.