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University of Texas takes over Edinburg Baseball Stadium; will pro baseball return?

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Edinburg Roadrunners

The University of Texas System is taking over Edinburg Baseball Stadium for use by UT-Pan American and UT-Rio Grande Valley, but it's far from clear whether pro baseball will return to the facility.

For many years Edinburg Baseball Stadium hosted the Edinburg Roadrunners (independent; United League Baseball), one of the more successful teams in the circuit, but this season the city passed on a lease to keep the facility clear of commitments while the transfer was being negotiated. Harlingen is a major part of the Brownsville-Harlingen MSA, which has a decent population (415,557) but a very low average income: $23,909. Now, that could change once SpaceX brings 300 new jobs to the area. In the past, the independent American Association has shown an interest in the market as well.

In the past, the city subsidized Edinburg Baseball Stadium, as rent from the university and the Roadrunners failed to cover costs. With the university now in control, we'll see whether pro baseball will return. From The Monitor:

The city spent about $225,000 per year since 2000 to operate and maintain the 4,000-seat stadium, a city news release said.

“It makes really good sense, considering it was costing us money to maintain it,” said Gus Garcia, the executive director of the Edinburg Economic Development Corp. “There was constant issues, and at some point it just didn’t seem like it was a worthwhile project.”

Leases to UTPA and the semi-professional Edinburg Roadrunners — the city’s only sources of income from the ownership — didn’t make up for that cost.

RELATED STORIES: Edinburg passes on ballpark lease for Roadrunners; Edinburg to negotiate new lease with RoadRunners ownership, passes on American Association; Edinburg to let ballpark lease out to bid

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