The connection between Albuquerque's old baseball team and El Paso's Triple-A team aspirations

POSTED: 03:00 PM MDT Jun 26, 2012    UPDATED: 04:00 PM MST Dec 25, 2012 

El Paso and Albuquerque have had a healthy rivalry for years when it comes to sports.

UTEP and New Mexico have had legendary basketball battles at The Pit and at the Don Haskins Center.

Now, the two cities could share a baseball connection.

For several months, it has been rumored that El Paso could get a Triple-A team that moved from Portland to Tucson.

That team used to play in Albuquerque until 2001 when it moved to Portland when it was bought at an estimated price of $10-12 million.

In January 2001, a group led by Tampa businessman Ken Young and Chicago-based entrepeneur Mike Koldyke, entered into a tenative agreement to purchase the Calgary Cannons with the intention of moving the team to Albuquerque.

According to the Albuquerque Isotopes website, a major condition of moving the team was that either a new stadium be built or that Albuquerque Sports Stadium be renovated. In May 2001, city voters approved a $25 million renovation of the existing stadium. Young and Koldyke completed the purchase of the Cannons, moving them to Albuquerque for the 2003 season as the Isotopes, named that after the baseball team in The Simpsons TV show.

In 2007, Albuquerque and Isotopes Park played host to the Triple-A All-Star Game, which featured a two-day Fan Fest at the Albuquerque Convention Center, a Home Run Derby, and the annual mid-season classic between All-Stars from the PCL and their counterparts from the International League.