Amarillo may soon be home to a new baseball team.
It’s not the major league affiliated team the city was hoping for, but, it should keep minor league baseball in Amarillo.
The Pecos League is currently in negotiations with Potter county to sub-lease Memorial Stadium from the American Association.
The stadium became available after the American Association announced the Airhogs would not return to Amarillo next season.
The Pecos League has all but said there will be a new team in Amarillo in 2017.
The League’s director of teams, Andrew Dunn, says they need to make some significant changes to the stadium before taking the field.
“We’ve got to put a plan together to get the facility, the surface better for our players in our league to make guys want to play here and make Amarillo the baseball destination that it was and it can be.” Dunn said.
Dunn says they’re also considering West Texas A&M University’s baseball field but, will likely stick with Amarillo.
For that to happen, they would have to sublease Potter county Memorial Stadium from the American Association, which has one more year on their lease.
Potter County Judge Nancy Tanner said, “To sublease it, which he’s going to do, he has to come to the court to get permission and I don’t see that that’s going to be a problem. That’s just me. I can’t speak for the commissioners.”
Tanner says it would be better for the community to have a team playing in the stadium rather than leaving it empty for the final year of the current lease.
If approved, Tanner said the new team would still have to pour $50,000 dollars in improvements into the stadium.
“The stadium conditions will get better.” Dunn said. “We’ve always wanted to be in Amarillo and always wanted to play in Potter county or Dilla Villa whatever it’s been referred to. This will be our seventh year of our league and geographically, it fits perfectly for us.”
The Pecos League has had their eye on Amarillo since they started five years ago. They wanted a team in 2011 but, the Amarillo Sox of the American Association held the lease at the time.
The league plays a 70 game schedule with half of those held at home.
Judge Tanner says the American Association would likely still have college-level leagues play at the stadium when it’s not in use by the Pecos League.
The league already has a name picked-out. If approved, the Amarillo Train Robbers would begin play next spring.