K. Mennem 11:31 a.m., June 19
Lawsuit filed to block construction of new stadium for Padres' AAA team
Ray Salazar, the former mayor of El Paso, Texas has filed a lawsuit against the city in an attempt to stop it from demolishing the local City Hall in order to clear land for a new $50 million stadium that would be built to house the Padres’ AAA minor league affiliate, currently playing as the Tucson, AZ Padres. Joining him in the suit were city board member David Ochoa and retired attorney Jesus Ochoa Jr.
The plaintiffs say the baseball club’s San Diego parent has insisted on a new downtown stadium being built before they would allow the relocation from Tucson, which itself was intended to be a temporary landing spot for the team after relocating from Portland. Jeff Moorad, who almost bought the big league club and was able to secure ownership of the minor league team, had intended to move the minor league team into a new park that was to have been built in Escondido, but that plan died with the elimination of redevelopment districts in California, and Moorad announced plans to sell the team.
If Salazar and the Ochoas are successful in blocking the demolition, it appears likely the future plans for the minor league team, which had hoped to be in Escondido by 2013 and then El Paso by 2014, will once again be put into limbo.