City still in hunt for baseball team
Published: Tuesday, October 21st, 2003
Clovis remains in the running for a minor league professional baseball team, but a decision one way or the other won’t be forthcoming anytime soon. Representatives of the Southwestern League, formerly the Arizona-Mexico League, visited the city last week. League president Bob Lipp said the process of looking at a number of cities under consideration for either an existing franchise or an expansion team will still take another couple of weeks. “We liked it,” he said of the trip to Clovis. “We liked (Clovis High School’s) Bell Park, and there will be a new park built. We feel there’s enough interest there (to support a team).” Clovis assistant city manager Joe Thomas said funds from the State Legislature have been allocated for construction of a city-owned facility, to be located near the Clovis High softball facility on Martin Luther King Blvd. The new field would have similar dimensions to Bell Park, Thomas said — 325-345 feet down the lines and 375-390 feet to straightaway center. “We hope to take bids in December and start construction in the spring,” Thomas said. “They (Southwestern League) liked the fact that Clovis used to have a semipro team. They felt a team in Clovis could get a rivalry going with some of the other cities in the area.” The new facility will be constructed primarily for Junior League level play (ages 14-17). The Southwestern League would work its schedule around the local program, playing mainly on weekends. The league requires a minimum seating capacity of 1,000. Lipp said the league will not play next year, but would resume in the spring of 2005 with six to eight teams playing roughly an 80-game schedule that would stretch from approximately May 25 to Aug. 15. “At this time they’re just going around to the different communities,” Thomas said. “Sometime, probably in December, they’re going to come back and make presentations to the communities that they select.” Bisbee, Ariz., currently has a franchise, and the league is in the process of moving two other franchises from Mexico, Lipp said. Cities being considered for a franchise include Roswell, Carlsbad, Las Cruces and Plainview, Texas, as well as other cities in Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma and Kansas.
Click Here To See More Stories Like This