Current Triple-A G.M. Weighs In on El Paso's Baseball Future
Rick Parr is a former El Pasoan making it big on the Triple-A circuit. Parr is a former El Paso Diablos President who is now General Manager of the Reno Aces, a Triple-A franchise in Reno, Nevada. The team is a member of the Pacific Coast League and is the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Parr has seen first hand how Triple-A can affect a city. The Aces began play in Reno in 2009, at a brand new ballpark after leaving Tucson, Arizona as the Tucson Sidewinders. Tucson has a temporary franchise in the Tucson Padres, but that team too is looking for a new home, which very well could be El Paso.
A new 9,100-capacity venue, Aces Ballpark, was constructed for the team in downtown Reno. The move to Reno forced the Reno Silver Sox, an independent league team with the Golden League, to fold. It's a very similar situation that the El Paso Diablos are facing now.
Rick Parr said that the violence in Juarez should not deter the league in moving to the Sun City. "All I can tell you is that I look at it... Acquiring a franchise is extremely important, the next step is to fund a stadium, and get that project going, and the third is making it all happen. So I would go on what I know is best and it is securing a franchise and a stadium deal , and if you have that, you are more than halfway there. I think the number one reason there should be a team there is simply for quality of life. I think what the ownership is trying to do is to bring in a first class situation, in town, and have all the people enjoy it. So I love the thought that triple A baseball could be El Paso, I am looking forward to that day, and hopefully it will come true soon."
Parr added that the only team on the market currently in the Pacific Coast League are the Padres. "What you say about the Tucson Padres is true, Jeff Moorad, the owner, has been looking for someone to sell it too because I think he has no interest in Escondido, California, so it leaves that opportunity is available and I think for one, that's an opportunity you don't want to let go."