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Joplin likely will acquire minor-league baseball team December 12, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Sports.
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The City of Joplin, Mo., is moving swiftly to accept a proposal to renovate historic Joe Becker Stadium and land a minor-league team from El Paso, Texas, as its new tenant, reported the Joplin Globe.

The council voted to have the city staff write a formal agreement defining the terms of a deal toward relocating the El Paso (Texas) Diablos to Joplin. That agreement may be presented as soon as next Monday if the city’s legal staff can finish it that soon, according to the discussion. [...]

Rohr said the city’s proposed investment has been reduced from $5.9 million to $4 million because the El Paso owners have agreed to take on the cost of building more stadium parking. In return for assuming the cost of buying land and constructing lots, the team ownership could charge for parking to recoup the cost.

The team’s contribution to the deal would be to build a $4 million entry plaza to the stadium with the additional costs for parking construction. Owners also would be responsible for team operational costs.

To pay for the renovations, the city will either raise the motel tax or take on debt. Regardless of that detail, all of the aldermen present agreed to draft a formal pact to bring the Diablos baseball team to town.

The Diablos will be renamed if they come to Joplin. One of the options is the name of the town’s previous minor-league club, the Joplin Miners of the 1950s.

Joe Becker Stadium was built in 1913, making it one of the oldest baseball parks in America. The grandstand burned down in 1936 and again in 1971. But the field itself is the same as it was a century ago. The stadium’s biggest claim to fame is future Baseball Hall of Fame members Mickey Mantle  and Whitey Herzog played there as members of the Joplin Miners during the early 1950s.

My thoughts about Joplin renovating the stadium and getting a minor-league team are here.

(Image of Joe Becker Stadium by Julio Borcher via Google Plus)

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