In an effort to return baseball to historic LaGrave Field, a non-profit foundation agreed to pay the Tarrant Regional Water District an upfront, 10-year market-rate lease for the facility that also includes a commitment by the group to spend $3 million on renovations to the minor league baseball field.
The Save LaGrave Foundation will spend at least $1.5 million on capital improvements over the next 18 months – and another $1.5 million in the next year and a half after that – to restore the 4,100-seat stadium, which hasn’t hosted a game since 2014.
Save LaGrave also will provide the District with a $1.75 million upfront, 10-year rent payment. Starting in the 11th year, the group will pay $14,500 a month in rent. Save LaGrave also is required to secure a minor league baseball team that will play at least 45 regular season games in a league similar to the one in which the Fort Worth Cats played.
The District also approved a deal with Panther Acquisition Partners Ltd. to swap 14.2 acres it currently owns under the Trinity River levees for 8.1 acres that included LaGrave Field. Panther Acquisitions will also pay the District $1.3 million as part of the deal.
“We’re not in the baseball business, all we’re doing is a land swap that protects the stadium and generates revenue for TRWD,” said Tarrant Regional Water District Board member Jim Lane. “It is a win for the community and for those who love the history and the heritage of the Fort Worth Cats.”
Under the 40-year lease Save LaGrave will pay for all costs associated with the stadium, including maintaining it in first-class condition, insurance, utilities and taxes.
Save LaGrave will also conduct at least 75 qualifying events each year at the stadium for other purposes, such as professional or amateur sporting events, civic and promotional activities to maximize the facility’s usage.
This restructured version of the original July 2018 agreement increases the initial capital investment requirement in the stadium.