SK Baseball, the company that's been working hard to move AAA baseball franchise into Washoe County, announced today that it has purchased the Tucson Sidewinders, the Pacific Coast league team affiliated with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
On Monday, it seemed we'd struck out, when SK Baseball stopped negotiations with the city of Sparks. They had been considering the development of a AAA baseball stadium near their marina.
Now with the purchase of the Sidewinders, Washoe County officials say they see this as another chance to bring a ballfield home.
"In the last couple days, SK Baseball has made two major announcements. They've eliminated one site they were looking at of the five, and they've also announced that they purchased a AAA team. That's really good progress in Washoe County's eyes," said Washoe County spokesperson Kathy Carter.
The sale of the "Sidewinders" comes just a few months before the County's deadline to have a AAA team and venue secured here. In May, county commissioners approved a predevelopment agreement with the new owners of the team, promising them around $3 million dollars in rental tax funds, if they could bring baseball to Washoe County.
"We are the holders of those rental tax funds and we have an obligation to taxpayers to make sure, if they're expended, they are given to a project that's going to be feasible for the community," said Carter.
County officials say they're not involved in private franchise negotiations with SK baseball, but their purchase of the "Sidewinders" means we could be a major step closer to having a minor league team in our area.
But before we take the field, the Sidewinders general manager spoke of the team's future.
"There's not a done deal anywhere, yet. But it looks like it is and everyone's all excited about it," said Rick Parr.
Most of the people of Washoe county are excited about the future of baseball in our region...we've known that for some time...but now the question is, where, when and if it will actually happen.