Ballpark Digest

Thursday, Jul 24th

Last update02:46:44 AM GMT

You are here: At the Ballpark Future Ballparks Diablos casualty of new El Paso ballpark

Diablos casualty of new El Paso ballpark

E-mail Print PDF
El Paso Diablos

One side effect of a new ballpark in downtown El Paso: the probable demise of the El Paso Diablos (independent; American Association).

Owned by the Tigua tribe, the Diablos play out of city-owned Cohen Stadium. Since buying the team for $500,000 in 2011, the Tigua tribe has spent about $750,000 on ballpark improvements, including a swimming pool, restroom and luxury box upgrades, and more. That investment will largely be down the drain should a city-owned ballpark open in 2014, as a proposed lease with a Triple-A ownership group prevents the city from working with a competitor. Of course, it's questionable whether the Diablos would want to remain operating at Cohen Stadium anyway: history shows the futility of an independent team competing with an affiliated team in the same market.

As you might expect, Tigua tribal leaders aren't too happy about this twist of fate. And while city officials regret not informing the tribe sooner, they say their desire for affiliated ball is no surprise:

"I think that the Tiguas have been in tune with what we've been doing all along," Mayor John Cook said. "We've been talking about trying to attract a Triple-A baseball team for well over a year. I think you have to think more about El Paso's future than the other team. For us to go from the what the Diablos are to a Triple-A team is a huge step for this city."

Perhaps. But it's pretty clear the Tiguas would not have invested over a million dollars on El Paso baseball if they had truly thought a Triple-A team in the city was close to reality. Though there's some chatter of the Diablos setting up shop in Las Cruces, we're pretty sure the economics of the American Association will force a search for a larger market.

RELATED STORIES: Downtown ballpark planning moving forward in El PasoEl Paso to debate ballpark bond issueEl Paso group seeking downtown ballpark, T-PadsMoorad to Escondido: We need quick action on ballparkObstacles to new ballparks in California: not as bleak as expectedEscondido moving forward with business park on proposed ballpark propertyCity, not Moorad group, to acquire Escondido landEscondido mayor: Time to scrap new-ballpark planMoorad: Leaving Padres in Tucson a possibilityEscondido ballpark vote put off indefinitelyEscondido ballpark vote delayed;State government could kill Escondido T-Pods ballparkNew for 2011: Tucson Padres;Escondido approves Triple-A ballpark -- with reservationsMoorad group, Escondido sign MOU for new ballparkEscondido council fills vacancy in advance of ballpark voteCrunch time for new Escondido ballparkPadres raise ante in Escondido ballpark negotiations;Escondido ballpark vote delayed again; new council will decidePadres make it official: Beavers to Tucson in 2011Election shows mixed support for new Escondido ballparkTuesday elections could determine fate of BevosBevos to Tucson for 2011Escondido ballpark vote delayed after pollution found at siteFate of Bevos in the air until November, maybe DecemberPadres pitch one-sided lease to EscondidoEscondido: Show us some money, PadresEscondido in, San Marcos out of Bevos ballpark mix

----

Share your news with the baseball community. Send it to us ateditors@augustpublications.com.

Are you a subscriber to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter? You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.

Join Ballpark Digest on Facebook and on Twitter!

Follow Ballpark Digest on Google + and add us to your circles!