For the third time in the past seven years, a new baseball team will be making its way to Robstown to play at Fairgrounds Field.
Nueces County Commissioners on Wednesday approved a one-year deal with the United League Baseball to bring a new franchise to western Nueces County.
The move comes about a month after the Continental Baseball League announced the Corpus Christi Beach Dawgs would not return to Fairgrounds Field this year due to an inability to find local ownership to take over the struggling franchise. Attendance for Beach Dawgs games averaged about 300 per game, league officials said.
Before approving the deal with the ULB, the county voted to accept the CBL's request to terminate its three-year lease agreement after only one year.
United League Baseball is currently overcoming a recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy settlement that allowed the league to be taken over by Reunion Sports Group LLC. According to the filing, which was done in Broward County, Fla., the league had accumulated $264,494 in debt that it was unable to pay.
But a recent decision by a bankruptcy judge allowed the sale of the league's assets to Reunion Sports Group LLC for $550,000. The group has also assumed operational responsibilities for each of the league's six teams, Reunion Sports Group president John Bryant said.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Pusley, whose precinct includes northwest Corpus Christi, said Saturday that he was concerned about the league's financial standing.
"I want them to ensure us that they're not going to…be in our park for five months and then walk off like the last two programs," Pusley said.
But Bryant said the league is looking forward to making a name for itself in Nueces County and plans on being successful.
"We're looking forward to it," Bryant said. "We're pleased to be back in western Nueces County. We had hoped to be there two years ago…but it didn't work out."
Bryant said the CBL had attempted to purchase the rights to some of the United League's teams, but were outbid by Reunion Sports Group. Play for the as-of-yet unnamed team will begin June 11, league officials said.
Contract figures obtained by the Nueces County Record Star showed a deal that would require United League Baseball to take over all maintenance and janitorial duties of the field. They would also have to pay $6,000 per month for the five months of the league's season, as well as about $1,400 per month for 12 months in order to pay for utilities.
The deal runs through the end of this year and may be extended until December 31, 2010. A second option would allow the contract to be extended until 2012.