The Hillsboro Hops are a minor league baseball team, affiliated with the Arizona Diamondbacks, in Hillsboro, Oregon. Just outside of Portland. Much like they are doing in most cities with a minor league team, Major League Baseball has told Hillsboro city leaders that their minor league teams will leave town if substantial upgrades or a new ballpark are not completed. I could post 1000 links of stories all over the country where a city is being told to upgrade or else by MLB. Here is one anyway. Then last week, stories began coming out of MLB requiring Hillsboro to upgrade the ballpark or else.
After the city of Wichita and the ownership group came to an agreement behind closed doors, numerous months passed. During this time, the city began to tear down the old ballpark and began to build the new one. Keep in mind that at this moment, residents still had no idea what the city had agreed to in this deal.
The Philadelphia Phillies have a history with Clearwater, Florida. Since 1947, the Phillies spring training facility and ballpark has been found here. But over the last decade or so, the Phillies have struggled to get money out of local city leaders. In early 2019, the Phillies asked for $40 million from tourist taxes for ballpark renovations and were flatly rejected. But now they are trying again. Maybe. We think.
The ballpark was to be built for the Biloxi Shuckers, the Class AA affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. In 2015, the city spent $36 million to build a new ballpark. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant claimed the new ballpark “would be an economic development driver for the area”. A local foundation estimated that this new ballpark would result in “an additional $10 million annually in visitor spending”. As AL.com notes, the ballpark came with a “promise of home runs inside and outside the stadium”.
Last week, it was announced that Spartanburg, South Carolina would be getting a minor league baseball team. The ballpark is reportedly part of a $250 million dollar project to develop property in the city's downtown district. According to one city council member, the ballpark will “set off an explosion of development” and bring an “economic boom” to the city.
Last week, Crain's Chicago Business had a good article discussing the financial issues that the city is facing with the current Bears stadium. Even though the Bears are trying to scam another city into paying for a new stadium, their current one continues to cost the city of Chicago millions of dollars. Basically, the city… Continue reading Chicago has $700M left in debt payments for Solider Field, Hotel Tax revenues falter
In 2018, Worcester, Massachusetts, agreed to finance a substantial portion of taxpayer money to build a brand-new ballpark. Although the city would be borrowing around $100.8 million for this project (making it the 4th most expensive minor league ballpark to be built), city leaders justified this expense by stating how the ballpark would fund itself, if not make the city money in the long term. At the press conference announcing the deal, the city manager told everyone outright that “in essence, the project pays for itself”. What if there are cost issues after the ballpark is built?
The A's are trying to get at least $500 million in taxpayer money for the new ballpark. As the Independent points out, that alone is slightly lower than the total amount that the city of Las Vegas brings in YEARLY from gaming taxes. The Oakland A’s believe that they are worth this money because they will bring in “400,000 new tourists to Las Vegas”. This is crazy. The A's would not bring in anywhere near this number of visitors. Based on airline issues alone with Las Vegas, making half this number would be an achievement. But maybe the A's could pull it off, considering they were dead last in attendance last year and are the lowest so far in 2023.
Several days ago, the City of Richmond came to an agreement with the developers of the Richmond Flying Squirrels, a minor league baseball team. For years, the Squirrels have been threatening to relocate unless they were built a brand-new ballpark. When the owner wasn't threatening to leave, Major League Baseball (MLB) would step in and demand upgrades to the ballpark on the taxpayers dime. This year, MLB demanded that Richmond update the ballpark to the tune of $3.5 million worth of improvements.
In 2013, the city of Hillsboro, Oregon, built and paid $15 million in city bonds for the ballpark called Ron Tonkins Field so that their minor league team, the Hillsboro Hops, could have a home field. Now that 10 years have passed, both Major League Baseball and the owners of the Hillsboro Hops believe that the team needs a new home. Last year, MLB called on the city to substantially upgrade the ballpark or else the team may relocate.