View Full Version : Triple A finally coming to Reno?

Silver Sox Fan
06-12-2007, 12:18 PM
For those of you who haven't followed the the saga, I will try to summarize...Reno lost affiliated A ball in 1992, and had the WBL from 1996-1999...A group came on the scene in 2000 promising a Triple-A team and nothing materialized and the date kept sliding. Then in 2005, talk of a stadium being built in our sister city of Sparks started at the same time the Reno Silver Sox came to town. The stadium was officially was declared dead in this morning's paper. Then, in an odd story that came out just minutes ago, the first concrete sign we have that AAA may indeed end up here came with the following:

Sidewinders sold; Reno move likely

Tucson owner's pending sale pays him, partners $13.5 million

09:40 AM MST on Tuesday, June 12, 2007

By Patrick Finley / Arizona Daily Star

The Tucson Sidewinders are being sold and will likely relocate to Reno, Nev., after the 2008 season.

Sidewinders owner Jay Zucker confirmed to the Star a pending sale and told some staff members about it Monday.

The club will make a formal announcement at a news conference today at 11 a.m.

Under the proposed deal, Zucker and two minority owners will be paid $13.5 million for the team by SK Baseball LLC. The group, headed by Jerry and Stuart Katzoff and joined by shopping mall mogul Herb Simon, has a deal in the works to move a team to Reno.

The Katzoffs are based in New York and have business interests and real estate holdings nationwide. Simon, a billionaire, has been co-owner of the NBA's Indiana Pacers for 24 years.

Under the terms of a letter of intent dated March 20, the buyers also will pay $100,000 for the Pacific Coast League transfer fee and the $25,000 for the Minor League Baseball application fee.

In documents obtained by the Star, the seller's name had been redacted. But the buyers were named and now Zucker has come forward to acknowledge the sale.

Zucker is the majority owner of the Sidewinders. In 2004, he sold 10 percent of the team to an unnamed investor and gave 1 percent to general manager Rick Parr.

The buyers will pay the current ownership $250,000 from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, 2008, to consult about the Sidewinders' operations next season, the letter of intent states.

After that, the team will likely leave Tucson.

Zucker bought the team in 1999 from Martin Stone for $8 million. Stone renamed the Tucson Toros and moved them to Tucson Electric Park in 1998 as part of an agreement with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Sidewinders signed a two-year affiliation deal at the end of last season that will expire after the 2008 season.

Before the Diamondbacks began play, the Toros had played at Hi Corbett F║ield since 1969 and were affiliated with the Chicago White Sox (1969-72), the Oakland A's (1973-76), the Texas Rangers (1977-79), the Houston Astros (1980-96) and the Milwaukee Brewers (1997).

The affiliation with the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix and the team's 2006 Pacific Coast League and Triple-A championships have not helped attendance:

● As of Monday afternoon, the team had 127,137 total fans this year. That ranks second to last in the PCL, ahead of Colorado Springs, Colo.

● Last year the team drew 271,698 fans, second-worst in the 16-team PCL and 65th-best nationwide among all minor-league teams, according to ballparkdigest.com.

● Until last season, when the Sidewinders averaged 4,055 fans, attendance had grown slightly every year since 2002.

The move puts the viability of TEP up in the air.

In 1997, the team signed a 15-year lease at the South Side stadium, with a capacity of 11,500, as part of its sports-facilities-use agreement.

The Sidewinders paid Pima County $30,000 in rent and royalties for fiscal year 2005-06, and are budgeted for the same amount this fiscal year, which concludes at the end of the month.

For fiscal year 2004-05, the Sidewinders paid $41,503 in rent and royalties.

In 2003-04, the team paid $52,216 in rent and royalties. In 2002-03, the team paid $62,344.

The team does pay more per year to the county on miscellaneous items.

The proposed Reno stadium will have 6,500 fixed seats and a total capacity of 10,000, counting skyboxes, party units, club seats and lawn seating, according to a pre-development and finance agreement issued in May among Washoe County, Nev., SK Baseball and Nevada Land.

The pre-development agreement states that Washoe County would use rental-car taxes and revenue bonds to pay for the stadium. The county has been collecting a 2 percent tax since adopting the tax on Jan. 13, 2004. Since then, owners and developers have tried to lure a baseball team to Reno.

The agreement would dedicate the balance of the state's Baseball Fund — $3 million — toward the project by July 1. The agreement also would commit all future rental-car revenues each year, expected to be about $1.36 million annually.

The county selected HOK Architects of Kansas City, Mo., to prepare a preliminary design for the ballpark. The stadium is expected to be completed by March 2009, according to a May 15 Washoe County report.

at the game

Average attendance for the Sidewinders:

• 2006: 4,055

• 2005: 4,101

• 2004: 4,019

• 2003: 3,981

• 2002: 3,896

Wow. The chance to get a AAA team is great. But to possible get (if they keep the affiliation) my favorite team's AAA team is beyond belief. I'll still be a Sox fan of course but this doesn't bode well for them if it goes down.

06-12-2007, 03:39 PM
Let's see......San Diego Silver Sox, sounds good to me!!!

06-12-2007, 04:37 PM
Maybe the teams can just trade places and the GBL can put a team in Tucson.

Also, I was wondering. Has the GBL looking into putting a team in Oakland if/when the A's move to Fremont in a few years.

06-13-2007, 07:06 PM
This news just ruined my day.

Silver Sox Fan
06-13-2007, 08:18 PM
Heavesrock--why is that? Not sure where you live so sorry if the answer is obvious.

06-14-2007, 07:09 PM
I'm originally from Tucson so I can't bear the thought of my hometown team leaving.