At a Thursday press conference, the owners of MountainStar Sports Group, joined by Branch B. Rickey, President of the Pacific Coast League (PCL), announced the successful close to the rigorous process that brings a Triple-A baseball team to El Paso. The announcement means that all final approvals of El Paso and MountainStar Sports Group by the Pacific Coast League, Minor League Baseball, and Major League Baseball for acquisition and relocation of the Tucson Padres have been received, and the purchase of the team has been completed.
“Last month’s decision made by your City Council and Mayor put all the elements in place for El Paso to be approved as a Triple-A city,” said Rickey. “Your community and the ownership group have been reviewed very carefully by the Pacific Coast League, Minor League Baseball, and Major League Baseball, and they have completed the many steps necessary to be approved and to bring the Tucson Padres to El Paso. We know El Paso will be an outstanding home for this team, and an exciting place for visiting Pacific Coast League teams to play. On behalf of the game of Baseball, congratulations.” Rickey also noted that El Paso is only the second city in Texas to have a Triple-A Baseball team, and the City will be one of just thirty Triple-A cities in the nation. “Triple-A is known for intimate ballparks, accessibility to the players, and providing a real hometown feel in the game of baseball,” he said. “That’s what Triple-A is all about, and El Paso families are in for a unique, special treat.”
Josh Hunt, a member of MountainStar Sports Group along with his father, Woody Hunt, and Paul and Alejandra Foster, said, “With final approval by the Pacific Coast League, Major League Baseball, and Minor League Baseball, El Pasoans can be very proud of our community and what this will mean for El Paso families and for our City. In approximately eighteen months, El Pasoans from all parts of town will be headed to a brand new, state-of-the-art ballpark to see their team on opening day and enjoy the best in affordable family entertainment.”
The announcement comes just three weeks after the decision by City Council and the Mayor to approve a lease agreement with MountainStar Sports Group and to construct a ballpark in time for Pacific Coast League play in 2014.
Hunt also spoke of the impact of the ballpark in the City’s downtown area. “The purchase of this team and the construction of a downtown ballpark is a public-private partnership that represents a real investment in El Paso’s future. Now that the process of purchasing the Tucson Padres is final, we can focus on working with the City to get the ballpark built and ready to host Triple-A play.” Hunt added, “As we’ve said all along, we believe this new ballpark will have a tremendous impact on economic development and will contribute to the revitalization of our downtown. We think we will begin seeing a positive change in our downtown very quickly.”
“There are many exciting things to come in preparation for the arrival of El Paso’s Triple-A team,” said Alan Ledford, President of MountainStar Sports Group. “We want the entire community of El Paso to be part of the Tucson Padres’ successful transition to El Paso. We will be presenting a number of ways El Pasoans can get involved, including a name-the-team contest, helping to choose a mascot, and team events throughout the City.
“We have launched the team’s web site, where people can log-on to keep informed about ticket products, the team, ballpark progress, and baseball news. We’ve already heard from so many people who are interested in supporting the team. We will be announcing more details soon,” added Ledford.
The team’s web site is www.ElPasoTripleA.com. Baseball fans are invited to express interest in season tickets, sign-up to receive announcements, news, and updates.