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Joliet offers lowered ballpark lease to new Slammers owners

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Joliet Slammers

It's a deal that makes baseball more viable in Joliet while rewarding the city if the new owners of the Joliet Slammers (independent; Frontier League) are successful, as the City Council will discuss a proposed Silver Cross Field lease on Monday.

The broad terms of the proposed lease, as negotiated by city manager Tom Thanas, lowers the base rent at the downtown ballpark to $50,000 per year for 2013 and 2014 and increases it to $75,000 annually in 2015-2017.

However, the city is proposing a mechanism to make up some of that lost rent if the team is successful -- a head tax would kick in if the team draws more than 105,000 fans a year:

That threshold gets lower in the last two years, when the head tax kicks in at 95,000, the lease resolution said.

In the first three years, the city will receive an additional dollar for every person from 105,000 to 150,000, $1.50 for 115,001 to 125,000, $2.50 for 125,001 to 200,000 and $3 for 200,001 and up.

In 2016 and 2017, the amount will be $1 for every person between 95,000 and 100,500, $1.75 for 105,001 to 125,000, $2.50 for 125,001 and 150,000 and $3 for 150,001 and up.

The city is negotiating a new lease with a group that includes former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Jim Haller, Twin Cities sports-law attorney Joshua Schaub, real-estate developer Tom Gump and other local investors. The group has reached an agreement to buy the Slammers from Alan Oremus contingent on the new lease.

RELATED STORIES: Twin Cities group negotiating to buy Slammers; Joliet Slammers sale imminentJoliet Slammers on the marketIndy ball apparently not good enough for JolietSlammers hit bumps in second season

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