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City Manager makes last pitch for baseball stadium, City Hall proposal

Published On: Sep 17 2012 08:20:16 PM CDT
Updated On: Dec 25 2012 04:16:54 PM CST
Joyce Wilson

El Paso is less than 24 hours away from a major crossroads.

On Tuesday, 10 items are listed on City Council's agenda tied to the Downtown ballpark and the movement of City Hall.

On Monday, City Manager Joyce Wilson gathered members of her city staff to discuss how important the votes on Tuesday would be. Mere moments after the meeting adjourned, the importance was highlighted by an e-mail that landed on her desk.

"Throughout the process, the (Pacific Coast League) has been operating under the assumption that a new stadium would be ready by the beginning of the 2014 baseball season, and that has served as a strong reason the PCL to consider moving a team to El Paso," reads an e-mail from a member of the PCL. "Without a commitment to that timeline, the PCL would not be in a position to approve the proposed Control Interest Transfer, nor may the seller be willing to proceed down this road."

This comes after days of speculation that city Representative Emma Acosta could flip against the downtown ballpark. Initially she listed a non-compete clause in the prospective contract, and the small ticket surcharge. On Sunday those issues were addressed, with MountainStar Sports Group announcing they'd amended  the contract.

Now, Acosta has made it known the lack of a vote in November could also play into her changing her mind.

As for the changes of the contract, Wilson told ABC-7 that it makes for a better deal for the city.

"The new deal is better for the city in terms of us clearing our costs for building the stadium and making for building the stadium and making sure it generates enough income over time to pay for it," said Wilson. "But also to pay for us to vacate the site."

The city's amended deal that was unveiled this weekend includes escalators in the rental fee MountainStar Sports Group would pay. It would increase from the base $200,000 every five years. The city would also see a return of $.50 on every ticket sold.

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