FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Professional baseball is another step closer to returning to Fort Worth’s historic LaGrave Field.
A nonprofit 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, according to a TRWD news release Tuesday.
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.
LaGrave Field used to be home to the Fort Worth Cats minor league baseball team.
“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 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 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.
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.