The El Paso group heading an effort to bring a Triple-A Baseball team to El Paso announced today that it has agreed to change certain terms in the original term sheet as approved by the City in June. The amendments will increase income for the City and will remove the non-compete clause regarding the El Paso Diablos.
MountainStar Sports said that the changes are a result of listening to concerns expressed by several Council members who, although they voted for the term sheet as originally written, later had certain reservations with some of the provisions of the document. The proposed concessions will provide more revenue to the City and will clear the way for the Diablos to continue to play beyond their current lease term.
MountainStar Sports Group has agreed to remove the non-compete provision that would have prevented the City from extending the Diablos lease at Cohen Stadium. Under the new terms, the Diablos could continue to play at Cohen Stadium if the City and the Diablos reach an agreement to extend the lease.
In addition, the MountainStar Sports Group has agreed to increase the ticket surcharge from $0.10 per ticket to $0.50 per ticket starting in year one of the lease. Finally, the ownership group has agreed to increase the base rent, ticket surcharge amount, and the parking fee by 10% every five years throughout the life of the lease to account for inflation over time.
MountainStar Sports Group had to confer with the Pacific Coast League and acquire a special release for the concessions, and received a sign off from the League Saturday morning.
Josh Hunt, one of the owners of MountainStar Sports Group, said that the concessions made by the group represent a good-faith effort by both parties to get the best results for all. “These concerns were legitimate from their standpoint, and we felt we needed to take a look at what we could do to resolve some of them, and if possible, all of them,” said Hunt. “We worked for over a week with the City Manager and City Staff to iron out these details, and we had to go back to the PCL to secure their approvals. We feel we’re making adjustments that will help, and we appreciate the City’s resolve to work through this with us. We respect and appreciate the Council members who let us know that they had concerns.”
The Group said that it had received a large amount of support from all over El Paso for the baseball initiative, including resolutions from the Central Business Association, the Greater El Paso Chamber, the Hispanic Chamber, REDCo, and the Paso del Norte Group. Hunt said, “We continue to be hopeful that Triple-A Baseball will be played in Downtown El Paso in 2014.”