EDMONTON — As the Edmonton Prospects Baseball Club enters into a four-year deal to operate and play out of Telus Field, the organization has been given the go-ahead to find a new naming sponsor for the baseball stadium.
The city gave the Edmonton Prospects Baseball Club the “okay” to find a new sponsor Monday morning.
“A facility sponsor agreement will generate new and additional revenue to support the Edmonton Prospects Baseball Club’s operating costs and any capital improvements they initiate at Telus Field,” a report presented to the Community Services Committee Monday read.
But baseball fans should refrain from bat flips; the stadium could still be demolished down the road.
The future of the baseball stadium was up in the air for years, as it no longer attracted the same calibre of baseball it once did. Over the years, the facility has been home to the Edmonton Trappers, Edmonton Cracker-Cats and the Edmonton Capitals.
In June 2014, there was discussion around possibly tearing down the baseball stadium to make way for redevelopment of the West Rossdale area.
Ward 3 City Councillor Dave Loken said Monday the future of the baseball field beyond the next few years is still subject to what the city ends up doing with the West Rossdale redevelopment.
“Quite frankly, the reality of the ball park may not be there once the Rossdale question is settled,” Loken said.
“That’s not going to happen for at least five years plus, so if these guys are willing to stay there and seek some sponsorship, some naming rights, and keep the park going and keep baseball going, I don’t see that as being a bad thing at all.”
Brad Badger with the City of Edmonton said getting community members into the stadium is a win for everyone involved because it will increase revenue for the Edmonton Prospects to be able to do more with the facility.
“Telus Field is still a very good, very viable facility so we really kind of, like our recreation facilities, want it to be animated and used as much as possible,” he said.
“Part of this process was to get an operator in that would have a major, major product or a major brand. But beyond that, to really be open and accessible to lots of usage.”
The naming rights for Telus Field expired in 2009, so it’s technically no longer called Telus Field even though that’s what it’s been known as since it replaced John Ducey Park in 1995.
The city’s Naming Committee and Edmonton Historical Board must be consulted on the new name of the facility. The final name will require approval from city council.
The Edmonton Prospects’ four-year deal includes the possibility of a one-year renewal.
“Now we’ve got kind of an opportunity, a second life – and I think the baseball community is going to get behind the team and I’m looking forward to that,” Prospects owner and president Patrick Cassidy said.
The Edmonton Prospects are a collegiate summer baseball team that plays with the Western Major Baseball League. The team has called Telus Field home since 2012.