POSTED: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 12:51pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 8:00am
EL PASO, TX — A baseball park could be coming to downtown El Paso within two years, and bringing along with it, a Triple-A minor league baseball team.
The proposed $50 million stadium would be built downtown, but according to a non-compete clause in the contract, the Diablos would have to leave city limits for the new Triple-A team to come in.
Families packed Cohen Stadium for The Diablos baseball game. Many fans were shocked to hear that the Diablos may have to leave their current home.
"I don't think that’s right. I wouldn't like that because it's more like a tradition that we have them here and I would hate to see them go," Rosa Salas said.
"If the Diablos can stay or both can stay, that would be great. But if they're gonna build a new stadium and, you know, bring more business, better caliber of game, I would be for that too," Michael Ramirez said.
"I like this setting. I like being by the mountains. I like that it's in the northeast. We need more things in the northeast," Maribel Nunez said.
The proposed new Triple-A baseball team and stadium in downtown would end the Diablos run at Cohen Stadium.
A non-compete clause states that an affiliated or independent baseball team could not operate Cohen Stadium.
"That non-compete clause would effectively end the Diablos as we know it at the end of the 2015 season," said Karl Maahs with Speaking Rock.
The Tigua Tribe group bought the Diablos for a little over half a million dollars and have invested nearly $700,000 into the team and the stadium.
"We got in there to try and bring the quality of life and the value to Cohen Stadium and Diablos which is an El Paso tradition, we kinda feel like our legs were chopped up from under us," said Maahs.
He did mention possibly relocating to another city or to new facility in the Socorro area.
Cynthia Valdez has been coming to the Diablos games her whole life and has made it a family tradition.
"We wouldn't mind having a new team come in here and create new opportunities for the city... to create something bigger than the Diablos were able to become," said Cynthia Valdez.
Valdez said she will still be a Diablos fan, even if they are forced out of the city limits.
"Diablos have been here for so long, it doesn't matter, whether they leave or not, we'd probably go and visit them wherever it is that they venture out to," said Valdez.
On Tuesday, the city council will hear the proposal for the ballpark to be built downtown and then they will vote whether to go forward with plans.
The investors, Mountainstar Sports Group, said the stadium deal must be in place before the purchase of the Triple-A team can be final.