Amarillo, TX - The proposed ballpark hasn't been constructed, let alone voted on yet and all 12 of the proposed suites for the ballpark are spoken for.
"Immediately when they started talking about pre-reserving tickets for suites or season tickets, I was on board," said Vice President for Estacar Companies in Amarillo, Cori Burns.
Burns is apart of Advance Amarillo, a group of local businesses and advocates wanting the city to grow. About a month ago, the group started advocating that if this ballpark goes through, how much money would it bring to the area and what businesses would benefit from it?
"What we're doing as a company is looking at our marketing budget and building relationships," said Burns. "We're able to allocate a portion of our budget to do that in advance."
Although money hasn't been exchanged for the suites, there's a waiting list of groups hoping to purchase one. Each suite includes 12 to 18 season tickets.
Along with Burns, other local business owners are making a commitment of good faith towards the ballpark. Dusty Barrick, co-owner of local construction company Diversified Interiors, has promised to buy season tickets.
"There is an interest in it," said Barrick. "The community wants to see it."
Barrick is committed to buying four season tickets. He says they cost between $1,000 to $1,500. Since the suites haven't been officially purchased, both Barrick and Burns could not give a price on how much the suites will cost.
The sold out suites combined with individual season tickets pledges brings the grand total of committed season tickets to more than 300.
Amarillo Citizens for Tomorrow, a group against the ballpark, is concerned over how the suites were sold. Co-spokesperson for the group, David Kossey released this statement Sunday evening.
"We are interested to know who authorized the sale, negotiation, or procurement of any transactions related to a not-yet-built ballpark. Is the Vote For Amarillo crowd pre-selecting an operator of the MPEV without consent of the voters in November, and superseding the authority of the city council? The media campaign by the "VoteFor" group saying "all suites are spoken for" appears to be a continuation of a "we will tell Amarillo what they want and who will receive it" mentality voters removed by the results of the May election. After their attempt to confuse the elderly voters earlier in this election, this attempt to precursor the election with an idea that "this is a done deal," raises even more questions."
The city says the MPEV would be paid for by hotel occupancy taxes, a yearly baseball operator fee, those who use the event venue, and revenue from the parking garage across the street.
Opponents claim Amarillo is not a baseball town and the money can be better spent, but Burns and Barrick are quick to say they're pushing more than just the ballpark.
"It's not so much about baseball, it's just something for the community to do that is kid friendly and family friendly," said Barrick.
Burns adds that this venue needs to be a catalyst for retail and restaurants.
"A sports type of activity with a consistent schedule would offer consistent traffic to retail and restaurants," said Burns.