On Thursday, Dec. 17, the Fresno City Council will consider the new stadium lease for the Fresno Grizzlies, the Triple –A affiliate of MLB’s San Francisco Giants. This new lease and its terms were negotiated by Barrett Sports Group, and was initiated by the seeming insolvency of the Grizzlies, one that city leaders did not want to happen, especially after the loss of the Fresno Falcons and its resulting fiasco.
The terms of the lease, expected to be quickly approved by the Council are numerous: capital subsidies on operating costs, a new state-of-the-art video scoreboard paid for by the city with the Grizzlies reimbursing over a five year period, guarantees the team will provide upkeep services, and allows the city a fairer share of the revenues, such as a cut of ticket prices, and parking fees.
It is no secret the City is looking to strengthen its only other minor league franchise, and use the team as a larger part of the overall revenue stream, including economic and tourism development and revenue a Triple-A All Star game would bring to the city, as guaranteed by the new lease. Part of new Mayor Ashley Swearingen’s inaugural plan which commissioned a new report entitled Meeting the Challenge II, highlights areas the City can implement best practices, of which increased revenues from city owned land. This successful vote would fulfill a promise made by the Mayor to make Fresno as efficient as possible.