EL PASO, Texas -

El Paso could be home to the Pacific Coast League's newest ballpark, but compared to the rest of the league, the numbers don't match up.

The City will make less than most Triple-A city-owned ballparks throughout the country. There are 16 baseball teams in the PCL with 11 of them with stadiums owned by a city, county, or in one case, a state.

ABC-7 looked through lease agreements and city records and the El Paso Downtown ballpark numbers don't add up.

Deputy City Manager Bill Studer said the numbers make sense.

"We are consistently below the national average, and we have the lowest per capita income city in the Pacific Coast League," is why the City will only ask for $200,000 per year for rent, Studer explained. “They're going to have to charge less to fill the stadium up, I mean, they want to have a full stadium. That's part of the attraction of getting people excited about coming to a baseball game and at a price that will get the maximum number of people to the game."

Studer said the City’s lease as it is written now does not have a cap on ticket prices or concessions since that was the reasoning for the lower rent.

That's about $100,000 less than the average from six teams that ABC-7 investigated.

When you take the city of Round Rock, which charges only 1 cent, the average rent spikes to more than $350,000.

The bottom line: it's not a money-maker.

It would take it would take at least 250 years to make back the $50 million it could potentially cost to build the Downtown stadium but Studer compares it to pools, soccer fields, or the Downtown Plaza Theatre - all projects subsidized by City money.

"They all lose money from strictly an accounting thing, but some citizens can have their but some citizens can have their choice if they want to participate in any of those," Studer said.

El Paso is working to recoup some money, though. Unlike most cities’ leases, El Paso will get 10 cents back on each ticket sold.

Still, the City capped the amount they can recoup each year at $75,000. That 10 cents is the lowest surcharge of the four teams that told ABC-7 they allow one.

The lease will be introduced during Tuesday's El Paso City Council meeting but won't be voted on until next week.


“They're going to have to charge less to fill the stadium up, I mean, they want to have a full stadium,” Studer said. “That's part of the attraction of getting people excited about coming to a baseball game and at a price that will get the maximum number of people to the game."

Studer said the City’s lease as it is written now does not have a cap on ticket prices or concessions since that was the reasoning for the lower rent.