SAN ANTONIO – The owners of the San Antonio Missions are working with San Antonio to move a Triple-A baseball team from Colorado Springs to the Alamo City.
According to The Gazette.com, the Elmore Sports Group, which own the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, issued a statement saying that it has been asked by San Antonio city officials to figure out the logistics of moving the franchise into a new downtown ballpark development.
“As business owners and caretakers of our Sky Sox franchise, we need to give this proposal serious consideration,” the statement, issued through the Sky Sox, said. “In order to fully explore these possibilities, we have agreed to meet and work with San Antonio city officials to test the viability of a new downtown stadium and explore a possible move of Triple-A baseball to San Antonio."
The statement also said no agreements have been reached and "there is no foregone conclusion that the team will be moving."
Elmore Sports Group officials said they confirmed the talks because they wanted to be transparent about the situation with Colorado Springs and San Antonio officials.
The report also said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said the team might move because the stadium sits 6,531 feet above sea level. The thin air at high altitudes makes it hard for pitchers to effectively throw breaking balls and is not ideal for developing young arms for the major leagues.
Suthers said the Sky Sox told him several months ago of their intention to begin negotiations with San Antonio in hopes of relocating the team within two to three years.
San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor on Thursday said the city is committed to bringing a Triple-A baseball team to San Antonio in three years.
"I've been to Nashville and Charlotte and talked with the folks that were responsible for creating those projects, and seeing what a major impact they have on their downtowns and how they've served as a catalyst for development," Taylor said.
City Council voted to keep the Missions Double-A team in the Alamo City through 2018. There's no word where the Missions would play after that but President Burl Yarbrough said the team is eyeing Amarillo. However, all team moves will have to be approved by both major and minor league baseball.
The estimated cost of a new downtown ballpark is estimated at about $75 million but Taylor said many factors come into play, such as whether the city owns the land, site preparations and possible demolitions.
As for financing the new ballpark, money would come from a bond election that would likely go to voters sometime in 2017.
"So many cities, I think, would like to have a team," Dave Elmore said. "But unless they have the financial capacity to build a stadium, it just doesn't work."
At this time, the city doesn't have a "Plan B" should voters not pass the bond.