Locked Out of Revenues

Escondido resident Bruce Simms addressed the city council on July 21 on the topic of the Portland Beavers, a Padres affiliate AAA baseball team that may be relocating to Escondido from Oregon.

According to a July 20 Union-Tribune article that Simms cited, if a memorandum of understanding is finalized, Escondido will build a 9000-capacity stadium on city-owned property east of I-15 and south of SR-78. Simms expressed concern for the initial proposal of financing the project by selling bonds— to be repaid using property-tax revenues expected to be generated by the City’s redevelopment agency.

“The State of California is in truly deep [trouble] and will come after redevelopment funds,” said Simms, who believes that the current financial crisis would make the bonds less attractive to investors. “You can count on the State taking redevelopment revenue from the City. Bet the farm on it.”

Further, Simms vocalized his disappointment upon learning that the City will surrender revenue from concession sales and naming rights to the Padres. “I’m sorry, but that’s completely unsatisfactory,” declared Simms. “Naming rights are very lucrative, as are concessions — to be completely locked out of such revenues is a ridiculous requirement.”

If a memorandum of understanding is struck, the city council is expected to hold a public hearing and consider a more detailed version of the proposed project.

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For anyone interested, it is a certainty that the AAA team in Portland will play next season at Lake Elsinore, sharing that facility with the high-A Storm. The team will be bought by a group of investors being put together by Moorad. The price is estimated at around 25 million dollars for the minor league franchise. The stadium, wherever it's built, is estimated to cost around the same price, and will need to be built in time to open the 2012 season, according to requirements from the folks in charge of Minor League Baseball.

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