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Padres pitch one-sided lease to Escondido

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No wonder the San Diego Padres are in a hurry to have Escondido (Cal.) officials approve a lease for a new Portland Beavers ballpark quickly: the deal proposed is totally one-sided in favor of the Padres. The city would borrow $45 million (at a total cost potentially of $90 million) for the new ballpark and pay down the debt. In exchange, the Padres would pay $200,000 annually and perhaps share a slice of the parking revenue. Oh, and that associated development the Padres are discussing? Not part of the lease. Why the plan is a pig in the poke for the city.

No wonder the San Diego Padres are in a hurry to have Escondido (Cal.) officials approve a lease for a new Portland Beavers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) ballpark quickly: the deal proposed is totally one-sided in favor of the Padres. The city would borrow $45 million (at a total cost potentially of $90 million) for the new ballpark and pay down the debt. In exchange, the Padres would pay $200,000 annually and perhaps share a slice of the parking revenue. Oh, and that associated development the Padres are discussing? Not part of the lease.

Now, $200,000 is a pretty low amount for a Triple-A team to be paying for a lease; we know of NY-Penn League teams paying more than that for a shorter season. So let's begin with the understanding that the annual rent itself is low.

Next, let's look at the money the Padres are pledging toward ballpark construction. Zero.

Next, let's cover the other revenue sources at the ballpark and where they're going. Suite revenue? To the Padres. Concessions? To the Padres. Ticket sales? To the Padres. Parking? To the Padres, but they're willing to discuss giving part of that to the city.

Now let's look at who is paying for the ballpark: Only the city of Escondido. The city would borrow $45 million (at a total cost potentially of $90 million) for the new ballpark and pay down the debt with proceeds from city redevelopment funds. If the state seizes those funds to balance a budget -- which isn't outside the realm of possibility -- the city will need to cover debt management out of general funds. With the city laying off workers and cutting back services lately, this isn't the best financial move from city officials.

City officials say development near the ballpark will pay for things. But Escondido isn't exactly attracting development money, and the proposed ballpark site is a pretty remote industrial area. Would you spend millions on a bar/restaurant in a remote industrial area? Let's be real: the ballpark is not going to attract serious development money. The Padres have talked about investing money on their own, but that's not part of the discussions at the moment.

We're doubtful this plan will fly. So far a majority on the City Council are against it, and unless the city can unveil a development partner for the project, we don't see them changing their minds. The Padres will probably need to sweeten the deal or come up with a different plan if they want to see a new ballpark in 2012.

RELATED STORIES: Escondido: Show us some money, Padres; Escondido in, San Marcos out of Bevos ballpark mix; Portland Beavers to...Lake Elsinore?; Could bidding war erupt for Bevos?; Portland Bevos update: Tucson-bound?; Come 2011, where will Beavers play?; Paulson finalizes deal for PGE Park soccer conversion; whither the Bevos?; Paulson withdraws bid for Bevos ballpark in Beaverton; Decision on Bevos ballpark could go to Beaverton voters; Beaverton, Bevos reach agreement on new ballpark sans site; Land woes could kill Bevos ballpark in Beaverton; Picketers greet pro-Beavers rally in Beaverton; Landowners not thrilled with Beaverton Bevos ballpark plan; Bevos eye Beaverton for new ballpark site; Paulson withdraws request for Bevos ballpark in Lents; Portland to move ahead with soccer renovation, put off plans for Bevos ballpark; Thursday vote could determine Bevos ballpark fate; New Beavers ballpark lacks support on City Council; Bevos, city close to final funding proposal for new ballpark; Rose Quarter location officially off the table for new Bevos ballparkBevos ballpark plans back up in the air -- and maybe doomed; Portland ballpark vote delayed as mayor adjusts site, financial plans; New Beavers ballpark wouldn't happen until 2012 -- at the earliest; Cost of Portland redevelopment mushrooms to almost $300 million; Crunching the numbers on a new Bevos ballpark; Portland proposes tearing down Memorial Coliseum for new Bevos ballpark; Portland City Council votes to move ahead with new Bevos ballpark -- but takes $15 million from the equation; Paulson agrees to Portland's financial demands; still may not be enough; Bevos ballpark plan runs into serious financial obstacles; Portland task force gives preliminary approval to new Bevos ballpark -- with plenty of conditions; Portland ballpark discussion shifts to Rose Quarter; Decision on new Bevos ballpark location delayed; Will new ballpark fly in Lents?

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