The Tacoma City Council late Tuesday approved a 30-year lease agreement with the Tacoma Rainiers that will keep the minor-league baseball team playing in Tacoma through 2041.
The lease is contingent on major renovations to Cheney Stadium, which the council will consider next week as part of a bond issue proposal that will allot the bulk of a $30 million package for the ballpark upgrades. Stadium renovations are expected to be substantially completed by March 2011.
We wrote about the planned stadium renovations and lease earlier this month here.
Under terms of the lease, the team’s ownership group, headed by Kirby Schlegel, will pay $500,000 in rent each year to help cover the city’s debt service for the bonds. About $50,000 of that annual rent payment will be set aside for the ballpark’s capital maintenance.
Among other details, the team has agreed to forgo revenues from stadium naming rights, allowing the ballpark’s name to remain “Cheney Stadium” through the term of the lease.
Brad Cheney, President of The Cheney Foundation, said in a letter read to the council last night that the foundation has agreed to contribute $5 million in private donations for the ballpark renovation package. (In an earlier interview with the TNT, Cheney said the donations are partly motivated to preserve the Cheney Stadium name.)
We’ll have more about the deal in tomorrow’s News Tribune.