City Council Approves New Aces’ Baseball Stadium Contract
In a 5-2 vote, the Reno City Council approved a deal to pay $1-million a year, for the next 30 years for a new Reno Aces stadium contract.
The new deal provides a personal guarantee that the team will not move to another city for at least 30 years. If they do, the city gets the $58-million stadium, free of any liens and won't have to make anymore payments.
"I know how difficult this has been for all of you. It's been extremely difficult for us but the end result is that baseball will stay in Reno and everyone will enjoy it as they have," says Aces owner Jerry Katzoff.
The agreement comes more than two months after the new city council voted down a different deal.
"This is truly a wonderful asset to have in our community. It's one that I'm glad to say will be staying here for the next 30 years and I'm excited to have the Aces in Reno," says Councilwoman Neoma Jardon.
The deal also means the fire station loan will be paid off in the next five years rather than ten.
During that span, the city will pay $850,000 a year.
That number will go up by a little more than $300,000 in the sixth year and go back down to $1-million, six years later.
And the city says it won't affect other services.
"So, if they come to us and say 'Hey, we have to cut fire but we've got to give them a million.' No, we don't. We can keep fire, police, or whatever. And if we have this surplus, then we can give them the million," says Reno Mayor Bob Cashell.
Councilman Dwight Dortch adds, "The council that is sitting there is going to have to look at this and decide whether they want to continue to make the payments. So, I think that's the key. The fact that we've reduced the amortization of the fire station loan down from 10 years down to what is is today, five years, really helped get me there."
Council members Jenny Brakhus and Hillary Schieve were the only ones that voted against the deal.
"I'm a small business owner and I look at other small businesses that have failed in this economy and maybe had they had a subsidy, they would've had more of a success story," says Schieve.
A University of Nevada study shows that the region would lose nearly 500 jobs and almost $29-million in economic impact if the Aces were to leave town.
"We've seen signs, recently, of property values starting to increase, businesses coming to Reno, you see that area starting to thrive and the Aces are a big part of that," says Jardon.
The new deal also means the city will have more flexibility to use the ballpark for special events - like concerts. And if stadium naming rights are ever sold for more than $300,000, the city will get 10% of that.