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Bye Bye Sidewinders?
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Polar Bear Fan
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 1:14 pm    Post subject: Bye Bye Sidewinders? Reply with quote

Group has letter of intent to buy PCL franchise, potentially move team to Reno

I'd say there's at least an 80% chance the team in question is the Sidewinders.
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qudjy1
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting...

I wonder if this gets complicated, as the Dbacks just signed a 2 year affiliate extension IIRC. would they have done that if they knew Reno would be involved?
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Bob A
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This goes back mostly to the topic we've already beaten into the ground: The fact that the Tucson local government decided to build TEP way out on the south side of town instead of using it to help rejuvinate downtown.

Having said that, I noticed there wer only 1800 souls out there last night who braved the 100 degree temperatures.
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TSWINDERS
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 11:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Bye Bye Sidewinders? Reply with quote

Polar Bear Fan wrote:
Group has letter of intent to buy PCL franchise, potentially move team to Reno

I'd say there's at least an 80% chance the team in question is the Sidewinders.


If Mr. Zucker is selling the team it didn't show tonight. I think it will be Tacoma or I also heard rumors of Colo Springs.
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dbackfanron
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It could be any one of a number of teams that are moving. If the Marlins move to Vegas or Portland, that could eliminate either of those two from the PCL.
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Polar Bear Fan
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 11:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Bye Bye Sidewinders? Reply with quote

TSWINDERS wrote:
Polar Bear Fan wrote:
Group has letter of intent to buy PCL franchise, potentially move team to Reno

I'd say there's at least an 80% chance the team in question is the Sidewinders.


If Mr. Zucker is selling the team it didn't show tonight. I think it will be Tacoma or I also heard rumors of Colo Springs.


I really hope so. With that said, I was under the impression that the new owners of Tacoma (as of July 2006) were going to rework the lease for Cheney Stadium. Maybe we got lucky and it didn't work out...

FWIW, I could see a large wad of cash putting Las Vegas and Omaha into play in addition to the three previously mentioned teams.
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TSWINDERS
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 12:00 am    Post subject: Re: Bye Bye Sidewinders? Reply with quote

Polar Bear Fan wrote:
TSWINDERS wrote:
Polar Bear Fan wrote:
Group has letter of intent to buy PCL franchise, potentially move team to Reno

I'd say there's at least an 80% chance the team in question is the Sidewinders.


If Mr. Zucker is selling the team it didn't show tonight. I think it will be Tacoma or I also heard rumors of Colo Springs.


I really hope so. With that said, I was under the impression that the new owners of Tacoma (as of July 2006) were going to rework the lease for Cheney Stadium. Maybe we got lucky and it didn't work out...

FWIW, I could see a large wad of cash putting Las Vegas and Omaha into play in addition to the three previously mentioned teams.


I just got the impression from Jay that the winders will be around. It was also nice to see the winders put a 17 spot up tonight and Desi Releford pitching for Oklahoma to end the game.
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kris
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Sidewinders owner Jay Zucker said he is not interested in moving the club to Reno, Nev. According to a recent report in the Reno Gazette-Journal, a group headed by Jerry and Stuart Katzoff of New York and Indiana Pacers co-owner Herb Simon, is interested in buying a Pacific Coast League club. The Washoe County Board of Commissioners will discuss a recommendation to enter into a pre-development and finance agreement with the group to build a baseball stadium.
"Some of these groups in Reno have knocked on our door, and you listen, like a good businessman," Zucker said. "At this point, there's no contracts. There's nothing that I can state as any updates.
"I'm sure with the right money and the right opportunity they will land a club. But does our organization want to move to Reno? Absolutely not."


http://www.azstarnet.com/allheadlines/183131

I guess no need to worry on this....
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baldmaga
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kris wrote:
Quote:

Sidewinders owner Jay Zucker said he is not interested in moving the club to Reno, Nev. According to a recent report in the Reno Gazette-Journal, a group headed by Jerry and Stuart Katzoff of New York and Indiana Pacers co-owner Herb Simon, is interested in buying a Pacific Coast League club. The Washoe County Board of Commissioners will discuss a recommendation to enter into a pre-development and finance agreement with the group to build a baseball stadium.
"Some of these groups in Reno have knocked on our door, and you listen, like a good businessman," Zucker said. "At this point, there's no contracts. There's nothing that I can state as any updates.
"I'm sure with the right money and the right opportunity they will land a club. But does our organization want to move to Reno? Absolutely not."


http://www.azstarnet.com/allheadlines/183131

I guess no need to worry on this....


This is good news. Arizona has one of the more unique situations being only a short drive from AAA and Big league ballclub. It allows for just that little bit of extra time on making the call.
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Ben Cheney
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings from Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Washington.

Most are assuming the Tucson Sidewinders are the team in question regarding Reno/Sparks. Add Tacoma to the list, as at least two cities will be without Triple A baseball after the 2008 season.

Schlegel Sports Group who purchased the Rainiers last year, are negotiating with Dallas officials regarding a new ballpark to be built there and ready for a team in 2009. The Schlegel group has close ties to Tom Hicks, owner of the Texas Rangers. The deal would include not just a new ballpark, but real estate opportunites surrounding the park as well.

The Schlegel group has no intention of keeping the Rainiers in Tacoma, as they did not get the money they lobbied the State of Washington for renovating Cheney Stadium. I don't really it was a concern of the group, as I believe this relocation plan of several Triple A teams has been in the works for some time. The 2 year lease on Cheney Stadium(with 2 year option) is with George Foster, the previous owner of the Rainiers, not with the Schlegel Group.

In regards to Tacoma, everybody wins as Foster finally sells the team, Schlegel gets his franchise to sell or move to Dallas, Rickey Jr. gets the PCL out of Tacoma, the City of Tacoma gets $5M in cosmetic upgrades to Cheney, plus a couple years of lease revenue.

Branch Rickey Jr. hates Cheney Stadium, it's location, and the City in general, so Reno/Sparks makes sense, as does Tucson going to Dallas.

It also gives both Dallas, and Reno/Sparks the time to complete the new stadiums.

Scenerio #1 - Schlegel Group sells the Rainiers to the Reno/Sparks group, and purchases the Tucson Sidewinders. They then move the team to Dallas after the 2008 season.

Scenerio #2 - Schlegel moves the Rainiers to Dallas, Tucson is sold and moved to Reno/Sparks.

At the end of 2008, Tucson and Tacoma no longer are PCL cities.

As far as Major League Affiliation, the Padres sign a Player Development contract with Reno/Sparks, ending their relationship with Portland, Oregon ownership.

The Mariners sign a Player Development contract with Portland, Oregon. Great move in regards to NW marketing, and close proximity to the parent club. They also in some regards block any potential MLB move to Portland.

The Schlegel group signs a Player Development contract with the Texas Rangers, leaving Oklahoma without a team. I assume there will be multiple affiliation changes in addition to these after the 2008 season.

Been a fun ride here in Tacoma, but have a feeling at best, we end up with short season Class A ball in 2009.
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qudjy1
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome aboard! Thanks for the info!
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shoewizard
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting analysis.

Thanks for the input.
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baldmaga
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow.

Unexpected but appreciated.
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Ben Cheney
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Schelegel & Hicks connection is interesting.

Schlegel owns the Iowa Stars hockey team, farm team to Hick's Dallas Stars. Their other hockey team the Texas Tornados, play in the arena built by Hicks in Frisco. Schlegel corporate offices recently moved to Victory Park, next to the American Airlines Arena, both owned by Tom Hicks.

Mike McCall, up until September of this year was the President/GM of the Frisco Roughriders AA Texas Rangers farm team owned by Tom Hicks. He now is a VP with the Schlegel Group.

So if they can get the stadium built, Hicks has his MLB, AAA, AA teams all in the same region. With MLB revenue share, he has no problem waiving the territorial rights because he's got action in all the venues.

WFAA in Dallas is taking suggestions for the name of the new minor league team in Dallas. Most are responding the Dallas "Eagles" due to prior baseball team history. My suggestion is the Dallas "Schlegels".
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Polar Bear Fan
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After reviewing how this all went down, I actually think the team in question is the Nashville Sounds (kind of funny that I didn't mention them in the earlier post). The Sounds were in position to receive a new ballpark up until a few months ago, but the deal feel apart rapidly and with utter acrimony between the team and city. About a month ago, there was a 4 pm deadline to extend discussions for the new ballpark, and the Sounds waited until the final hours to seek an extension. The city ultimately decided to deny this extension, and the developer mentioned possibly pursuing a stadium for a different team (probably a Southern League team), not exactly a smart move if you want to keep the Sounds in your city. Finally, after cutting off negotiations, the city found the Sounds to be in default on their lease of Greer Stadium, which is up after the 2008 season (this occurred about 4/16).

As for the Reno aspect, their pursuit of a triple-A franchise had seemingly hit a snag in the past year or so, following the sale of the Rainiers. Then suddenly, they announce they found a team to potentially purchase (around 4/21). The team in question was purchased for $13.5 million, which would probably be considered below market value for a triple-A franchise. For comparison, the City of Harrisburg just agreed to sell the double-A Senators for $13.25 million, with a stipulation that the new owners sign a 29-year lease to remain in the city and contribute to upgrades at the stadium. If an unmovable double-A team (with rather poor facilities) is worth $13.25 million, a triple-A team should be worth more than $13.5 million. In my opinion, if Mr. Zucker were willing to sell the Sidewinders for $13.5 million, they probably would've been sold already (or he was being low-balled on the amount by previous bidders). On the flip side, the owners of the Sounds might be willing to dump their team for below market value, if it will get them out of a potential lawsuit with the city.

One final note, the buyers want to hold a press conference in the current team's city on May 23rd to announce the sale. This announcement is being delayed (in part) to avoid hurting the team's attendance. The Sidewinders are currently on the road, the Sounds have a home day game on 5/23. Their 8-day home-stand ends next Thursday (5/24). Take from that what you want...

Edit: I notice the Rainiers were sold for only $12 million, so maybe a PCL franchise is worth less than an Eastern League franchise.
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Espo
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2007 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why couldn't they hold the press conference while the team is on the road? I think you would want to do that to avoid any "incidents" at that evenings game. Just a thought.
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Polar Bear Fan
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2007 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see your point, but I think the media coverage would be greater for a press conference on a game day, particularly for a day game. It also seems sort of underhanded to announce the relocation of a team in that team's city, almost like the press conference is meant to strike a nerve with that community. I could see the Nashville ownership wanting to take a stab at the city's leadership and the way they handled the ballpark issue.
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Ben Cheney
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

True, the Sounds did default, and the new ballpark at this point is dead.

Keep in mind the Sounds rank 6th in the PCL in attendance at over 6500 fans per game so far this season. Break even attendance for a Triple A team is an average of 4500.

By putting a Triple A team in Reno, rest assured the Padres will sign an agreement to put their PCL team there.

The Mariners meanwhile, have cherised the thought of having a Triple A presence in Portland for quite some time now.

So, this leaves the Rainiers franchise in question, thus a sale or move by the Schelegel group is the most obvious team in question.


The Schelegels want Dallas, and with their close ties to Tom Hicks and the Rangers, no question Hicks would welcome a Triple A affiliate to go along with Frisco, current AA affiliate to the Rangers. The key here is the R/Estate development opportunites around the ballpark, similar to what he did in Frisco. The city paid for the ballpark, and Tom Hicks Sports Group built out and around the facility, Hotels, Condos, Retail, and even his ice arena's for the Schelegel group Texas Tornado, and practice facility for Hick's Dallas Stars.

Back in 2003, the Reno deal included Tom Hicks, as they were to develop the marina property where the ballpark was to be built.

So, the Rainiers are all but gone, no new stadium, and the ownership is a mile apart in regards to the fan base, and community in Tacoma.

I think (2) teams are in question here, not one, Tucson & Tacoma.

Guess we just have to wait and see. Good luck!
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Ben Cheney
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The value of the Rainiers is based on playing in an old Cheney Stadium, with limited revenue opportunities, and inclement weather in April & May which really affects the early season revenue.

With the State of Washington saying "no" to providing 15 million to the Rainiers and the City of Tacoma, the Rainiers are as good as gone. There is no cost effective land to build a new stadium in a new location, and Cheney Stadium is "land locked" by freeways, high school, and parks department facilities.

Interesting that only 2-3 weeks after receiving the bad news from the State of Washington, the announcment is made that Reno, and it's financial backers have purchased a Triple A franchise.

No way the area can support the kind of infrustructure Branch Rickey is looking for in regards to new stadiums, and their surroundings.

I believe the Rainiers actually sold for right around 11 million with the Schlegel goup picking up associated closing costs, etc.

George Foster the previous owner, also owned an apartment complex adjacent to Cheney Stadium. Schlegel group did not want to include the complex as part of the sale, and Foster sold it as a seperate transaction.

No sight of Nick Lachey as of yet. What's up with that?
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Espo
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any word on this? I know someone had said there was a May 23rd presser.
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DesertKnight
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Official word comes tomorrow, but the team sold is the Portland Beavers, triple-A affiliate of the Padres.


Link

There's nothing about moving the team, though. The article makes it seem like the team is staying in Portland.
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TSWINDERS
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is surprising is Portland usually draws well draws pretty well.

Meanwhile Tucson attendance is still a problem....

2nd to last and that is with the inflated "tickets sold" attendance number. So in all honesty they are dead last in attendance.
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DesertKnight
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This makes two sources that say the team isn't moving:

Quote:
A spokeswoman for Paulson said there are no plans to move the Portland teams.

As part of the purchase, Merritt Paulson, 34, and his wife, Heather, will move to Portland where he will be full-time president of both teams.



Link
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Polar Bear Fan
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The group that bought the Portland teams is different from the group that purchased the future Reno team. What this does is eliminate Portland from being a "contender" (and they were a fringe contender to start).

I haven't heard any new developments since last week. At that time, they were planning to announce something today, but that obviously didn't materialize. I would rank the contenders in the following order: Nashville, Tucson, Tacoma, Las Vegas, Colorado Springs, Omaha, and New Orleans. I would be pretty much shocked if it is one of the final two and surprised if it is Colorado Springs. I really think it is either Nashville or Tucson.
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Espo
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I heard Colorado Springs is a very good possibility of being the team.
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