Potter County Memorial Stadium won’t be the home field for a minor-league baseball team.
Hmm. Imagine that.
The rat hole ballpark is going to be leased to a high school baseball program. Remember the Amarillo Dillas, which morphed into something called the Texas AirHogs? Well, the AirHogs decided to split their home schedule between Amarillo and Grand Prairie, and then decided to play all their future games in Grand Prairie.
Now comes news that the Pecos League won’t be playing at the stadium, either. The place isn’t worth the expense that Potter County would have to spend to make it a suitable athletic venue.
The place is a dump!
Which brings me to another key point.
They’re wrapping up the demolition of the Coca-Cola distribution center in downtown Amarillo. The city is trying to lure a more serious minor-league franchise, the Class AA San Antonio Missions.
Construction is set to begin — eventually — on a $45 million multipurpose event venue at the old Coke site. The city, though, needs to get a commitment from the Missions that they’re coming here.
We won’t have baseball in Amarillo next year, which will be the first time in a couple of decades that we’ll be without some professional version of the Grand Old Game being played in the city.
The Potter County stadium isn’t worth the effort, let alone the money, to repair, renovate and revive.
As the Amarillo Globe-News reported, quoting count facilities director Mike Head: “Head said it would take $14 million to bring Memorial Stadium ‘back to what I call a suitable stadium. I have to say this. This $5,000 and $10,000 stuff, all they are doing is nickeling and diming stuff. You can go out there and put down $5,000 to kill grub worms and you won’t see the impact.
“’This is just my opinion, and nothing against you Mr. Elliston, I wish you (commissioners) would cancel the contract. Get out from underneath it and let’s start all over.’”
How about removing the Potter County rat hole from the equation and ensuring we get an affiliated minor-league team to play hardball in Amarillo? A new ballpark downtown would be a suitable place to throw out the first pitch.