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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bloomberg: Win or Lose El Paso Guarantees Baseball Bondholders: Muni Credit

El Paso, Texas, the second-largest U.S. city without a professional sports team, is borrowing $53 million with yields at record lows as it joins municipalities nationwide betting that stadiums will rejuvenate downtowns. [...]  The Tucson team moving to El Paso sold 3,000 tickets per game last year, the lowest attendance in the 16-team Pacific Coast League. El Paso’s team will do better, said Mike Feder, general manager of the Tucson Padres.  “They’ve never had Triple A baseball, their downtown stadium will be fantastic and their ownership group has deep roots in the community,” said Feder, who isn’t moving with the team.

bobm Posted: May 29, 2013 at 11:00 PM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, stadiums

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   1. Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 30, 2013 at 09:23 AM (#4455529)
“They’ve never had Triple A baseball, their downtown stadium will be fantastic and their ownership group has deep roots in the community,” said Feder, who isn’t moving with the team.

"It's going to be a massive success. I have so much confidence in the success of this project that I'm...staying where I am and not going to be involved."
   2. Brian C Posted: May 30, 2013 at 10:56 AM (#4455652)
Wait, El Paso is going AAA? Didn't their AA team leave town amid tepid support? I went to a Diablos game a few years before the affiliated team moved to Missouri, and it was semi-dire. Maybe ten years and a new stadium can fix that, but it seems like an unlikely market all the same. "They've never had Triple-A baseball" seems like an unpersuasive selling point when the AA team failed.

I thought the T-Pads were moving to somewhere in California, but I guess that didn't work out.
   3. Mike Emeigh Posted: May 30, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4455733)
The plan was for the Tucson team to move to Escondido CA, but plans for a ballpark there fell through when the state of California eliminated public redevelopment funds in 2012.

The guy who's running the franchise in El Paso was part of the team that made Sacramento one of the minor league's success stories, so while there are obviously questions about the viability of a franchise in El Paso, they have a team in place that knows a little something about how to make it work.

-- MWE
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 30, 2013 at 11:44 AM (#4455739)
Triple A baseball put Ogdenville, Brockway, and North Haverbrook on the map.
   5. valuearbitrageur Posted: May 30, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4455810)
“They’ve never had a Triple A rating, their downtown stadium will ensure they never will and when the team is drawing less than 2,000 a game in a few years those debt payments will ensure the new owners can't be located by the community,” said Feder, who is laughing his ass off at his good fortune to be rid of this mess.
   6. Brian C Posted: May 30, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4455873)
I will also say, though, that I went to a AAA game in Tucson several years back when they were still the Sidewinders, and that was more dire than El Paso was despite some of the same limitations (unappealing stadium in the middle of nowhere, etc). Hard to tell a lot from one night in anywhere, but I can easily imagine that El Paso is genuinely a more attractive option than Tucson.

Not as attractive as North Haverbrook with their shiny new monorail, perhaps, but still.

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