A Ballpark Figure

Much has been reported on the $22 million dollars that tax payers had to eat due to the delay in getting the bond  for the ballpark.  In 2013, shortly after taking office in 2013, Mayor Leeser requested a report on The Ballpark Finances. On Tuesday, the City Council voted to waive attorney-client privilege and release the report to the public.  According to the report, the City’s attempt to sell the bonds hit obstacles after the May election:

  • Bound counsel raised concerns over the City Council’s decision on May 28 to limit the amount of the bond sale to $52.8 million. The city manager and city attorney agreed to take the issue back to the City Council.
  • On June 5, 2013, the project’s construction manager warned that the project’s cost would exceed $57 million.
  • The city began negotiations with MountainStar Sports Group, the owner of the El Paso Chihuahuas baseball team, on how to handle the rising costs associated with the ballpark. The parties agreed to costs not to exceed $64 million, with MountainStar extending its contract with the city to lease the ballpark from 25 to 30 years. The financing deadline was extended to Aug. 18, 2013.
  • Detroit filed for bankruptcy on July 18, 2013, and initial attempts to sell the ballpark bonds that month failed because the underwriter couldn’t find buyers at the price the city was seeking. On Aug. 2 the underwriter, Morgan Stanley, resigned at the city’s request. A new underwriting team of Goldman Sachs, Raymond James and Wells Fargo was selected on Aug. 7.
  • The bonds were sold in late August 2013.

You can read the entire article here.


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