by Pam Zubeck
According to Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach the Colorado Rockies are considering pulling the plug on their Triple-A affiliate in Colorado Springs unless it relocates to a new ballpark.
Bach told the Gazette in a story published Thursday:
The Rockies have told me directly, and I think they are out there publicly saying, that they are concerned about the physical situation out at Security Service Field for two reasons. One, the wind, particularly the east wind, causes torque on the ball. Second, they lose a lot of games in the early season, because the field is frozen. The stadium is antiquated. It doesn't have enough bathrooms; doesn't have enough concessions; doesn't have cover for bad weather. So, are we at risk of losing the Sky Sox? I think we are.
The Gazette story included Sky Sox GM Tony Ensor saying there was "definitely no chance" of such a thing. But we also wanted to hear from the parent club itself, so we asked Rockies Vice President of Communications Jay Alves about that statement.
Here's a voicemail Alves left for us in response to our questions:
Several of us in the organization speak to the mayor from time to time. Like any other major league club, I guess I can tell you that, uh, any other major league organization, we're always looking to enhance our player development. And if that meant a new ballpark in Colorado Springs, that would be terrific.
Certainly we, uh, would be interested. Uh, but, uh, at this time, uh, like I say, from time to time we talk to the mayor, and that's really where we're at. Uh, I think it would be way too premature to say that the Rockies would move our affiliation out of Colorado Springs.
We pressed him further in an e-mail, saying, "I think what we're really trying to verify is whether someone with the Rockies organization actually told the mayor that Security Service Field is antiquated, is short on bathrooms, concessions, etc., and that those and factors related to game performance means Colorado Springs is 'at risk of losing the Sky Sox.'"
Here's Alves' response: "That's a question for the mayor to answer. You have our answers."
As Indy columnist John Hazlehurst points out in his column this week, there's a movement afoot to secure tax money to build a ball stadium before any public discourse takes place. Unless, of course, you consider a non-scientific, targeted survey as public discourse.
And by the way, has anyone heard any results from that yet? Or is that information also off-limits to the public?