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Silver Sox Fan
04-03-2007, 08:08 PM
Thought all would enjoy this article from our local paper...we have been promised a Triple-A team for the better part of 7 years and money has been set aside for it. Now it looks like the state and city have had enough and want to use the money for something else. GBL officials testifed and who knows, maybe the Sox can have a stadium in the future here in Reno:

Senate bill sets deadline for Sparks baseball plan
Guy Clifton (GCLIFTON@RGJ.COM)
RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL
April 3, 2007

The developer trying to bring a Triple-A baseball franchise to Sparks has until Oct. 1 to get an agreement in place or lose the millions of dollars in rental car taxes that have been set aside for the project, under a bill before the Nevada Legislature.

Initial testimony Monday on Senate Bill 203 showed a number of entities, including the Reno Silver Sox baseball team and the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority, lining up for the revenues if the plan to bring Triple-A baseball to Sparks fails.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, told the Senate Government Affairs Committee he has been told a deal is close to being complete. RED Development of Kansas City, Mo., developer of the Legends of Sparks Marina project, is negotiating with an existing Pacific Coast League team about moving to Sparks, he said.

RED is planning a minor league stadium as part of its Legends development on the site of the old Sparks Outlet Mall.

Since legislation that imposed the rental car tax was enacted in 2005 session, about $3 million has gone into the fund for the minor league project, Raggio said.

Raggio submitted an amendment that sets the Oct. 1 deadline. He said if the Triple-A deal can't be reached, there are other worthy enterprises that could use the money, including the Reno Silver Sox, which play in the independent professional Golden Baseball League.

Dave Caval, Golden Baseball League founder and chief executive officer, and Silver Sox General Manager Dwight Dortch testified in support of SB203, which also changes the language of the 2005 bill from "minor league" to "professional baseball league."

Caval said the GBL is not opposed to the effort to bring Triple-A baseball to Sparks, but in the event it doesn't happen, he wants the Silver Sox to have the chance to use at least part the taxes.

"We just want a level playing field and to have a chance," Caval said.

The Silver Sox play their home games at Peccole Park on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. Caval and Dortch, also a Reno councilman, said the money could go to building a separate stadium or to make further improvements at Peccole.

But state Sen. Randolph Townsend, R-Reno, said the deal should be "Triple-A or nothing" and if a Triple-A team can't be secured, all the money should go to the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority for renovation of the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center.

A separate bill, SB176, is seeking $20 million for renovation of the livestock center, but the money was not in the governor's budget and stands little chance of passing, according to legislators and RSCVA officials.

Townsend said there are interests that want to bring professional ice hockey and Arena League football to the livestock center if it is improved.

He said the center also needs to be improved to lure back equestrian events that have left the 20-year-old facility for newer facilities in other cities.

"I feel very strongly that if we don't get Triple-A, that we should put that money into RSCVA (for the livestock events center)," Townsend said.

Raggio disagreed with Townsend.

"There are other projects that should be considered," he said.

Sparks officials were pleased to know there was a general agreement that Triple-A baseball still is the desired use for the money.

"Everybody wants Triple-A," said Randy Mellinger, assistant city manager. "This allows the developer time to pursue the team and get the agreement set."

Mellinger said a spring or summer announcement of the team would be difficult for an existing franchise, which has to play the season in the town it is planning to depart. The Oct. 1 deadline allows for the announcement of the team after the season, he said.

The government affairs committee took no action on the bill Monday. The committee's next meeting is Wednesday.

Pietsch Fan
04-03-2007, 08:54 PM
Hm, baseball - livestock events, baseball - livestock events. Oh yeah, that's drawing the same crowd. :) It would be nice if Reno could improve Peccole or get a new field. The stands are put together in such a way that you have to leave the stands completely to get from one section to another. Same with Chico. It was probably add a section here, add a section there as the needs grew. Good Luck Silver Sox Fans!

Mary

Silver Sox Fan
04-04-2007, 12:22 AM
The thing with Peccole is that it is the field of a very small (finacially) baseball program. In fact, if the GBL hadn't come along there probably wouldn't be lights or the field turf that exists now. It is pretty crazy, actually. The Wolfpack were the last to get lights in the WAC and before the turf the field was always subject to being messy as it was frequently snowcovered and plowing the snow just made things worse. I am glad the GBL put some money into the field but at the end of the day it is still not to the level it needs to be. The stands aren't connected (as you noted), the press box and concessions area feel like little league, etc.

If Triple A is finally declared dead which I believe it will be, I hope the money goes to the Sox. Worst case, they bring Peccole up to speed by renovating the park. Best case, they build a new stadium altogether and establish themselves as a self sufficent team. Livestock events center is not going to bring sports despite what that state senator said. But the Sox are here and they deserve the city's support.

Either way, the GLB and Sox have been great for Reno and our University and I have no doubt things will only get even better in the future, especially if they can secure the funding that we have set aside for a baseball stadium anyway.

Pounder
04-04-2007, 03:33 PM
Livestock events center is not going to bring sports despite what that state senator said.

Are you sure?

I know someone keeps paying to maintain rights to an ECHL franchise. I know Reno is courting the 2018 Winter Olympics (of course, if the summer games in 2016 land stateside, nix the 2018 idea). They both could be pipe dreams, but at least I wonder why the hockey owner would be paying rights fees for 3 to 4 years for a non-team.

Silver Sox Fan
04-04-2007, 05:31 PM
Yeah, the guy is Larry Leasure. Here is some background from wikipedia:
--------------------------
The Reno Raiders will be a professional ice hockey franchise in the ECHL, planning to start play in the 2007-08 season.

The Raiders last played as the Reno Rage of the West Coast Hockey League in the 1997-98 season. Larry Leasure bought the dormant franchise in 2000, and announced in May 2006 that he was about to start construction on an arena in Reno that would house the Raiders in 2007-08.
---------------------------

But here locally this is the scoop: Reno Events Center said "no"; Lawlor Events center said the remodel would take $20M to accomodate hockey but it isn't worth if it there was only hockey (they said they would look at it if they got the olympics); The Reno Hilton was supposedly going to build a stadium on their property but when it was sold to Grand Sierra Resort, they nixed the project. And then there is the Reno Livestock Events Center that is in horrible shape and they too haven't committed.

Leasure tells us every year they are coming (since 2001 or so) and every year it doesn't happen. Do a quick google search for Reno Raiders and you will see multiple supposed start dates (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, etc); now wikipedia say they are going to start in 2007 (this October) but they still aren't building the arena he mentioned in May 2006. Again, more borken promises.

As to why he keeps the franchise, most say is because it is a tax shelter. I hope they are wrong and would love an ECHL or AF2 team but I know better than to hold my breath.

DawgsBooster2
04-11-2007, 02:41 PM
I just love how the guys who want to fix up the livestock location are firmly set to have Tripple A or nothing. Tripple freakin' A? Now c'mon fellas, think honestly about that... Tripple A is a step from the show.

My contention is that they're just sticking to that verbiage so that they can update their livestock arena.

The article said that the next meeting would be today. I look forward to finding out the outcome.

Pounder
04-11-2007, 03:10 PM
Yes, Triple A, and the long-time rumor has been an ownership group that could purchase the Tacoma Rainiers and move them out. Tacoma has hardly been resistant to being moved (city of Tacoma has had little interest in helping out), just lacks a market to move to.

Of course, the Reno stadium proposal has been in the hopper for so long that it just doesn't seem like it's going to come off. YMMV.

Silver Sox Fan
04-22-2007, 07:32 PM
Not sure where this went as it pretty much died in committee but I believe there is an unofficial desire to allow the Triple A guys another few months since they claim they have a team lined up but they can't announce it because it will kill that teams attendance for this year.

They broke ground on the location (it is a huge retail complex) yesterday; no specific mention of the ballpark of course.

Here's to hoping the Sox get at least a share of the money. At least we know the GBL has a team here. Let them have the stadium money. I imagine you could build a park relatively cheap when you cut out all the stadium requirements for a triple A team (luxury boxes, concourses, etc). Something along the lines of Peccole but with more bucket seating.