City Council approves lease agreement with Joplin Blasters
A new deal for the Joplin Blasters has been approved by the Joplin City Council. It happened earlier tonight in a special meeting at City Hall.
In a 6 to 1 vote, the City Council approves the Blaster’s lease of Joe Becker Stadium on an emergency basis.
“I think the council and the Blasters are probably entitled to a short, positive meeting with regards to this lease so tonight was just the final step in this process,” says Mayor Mike Seibert.
The Blasters will pay $75,000 annually in 5 monthly payments from May to September. The amended contract now states that the team will pay utilities, 10 percent with a cap of $4,000 if the average attendance is 1,500 or less and 15 percent with a cap of $6,000 if it’s between 1,501 and 1,700.
Blasters owner Gabe Suarez would not do an interview on camera but says taking on additional maintenance costs and responsibilities will save the city money.
“That’s how we’re able to take that 150,000 bond payment down to 75 so they can have a better shot at breaking even this next year and we reduced it because they’re taking on real expenses that we had that we won’t have this next year because of the way this lease is formed,” adds Mayor Seibert.
Suarez also announced at the meeting that the blasters will pay the $25,000 owed from last year’s lease by next week, rather than by April 1st.
And both the City and officials with the Blasters say that this lease is a better deal for both parties and they look forward to moving past it into the next baseball season.
“It is time to move on, it is time to think about Blasters baseball. It was a lot of fun for a lot of folks that enjoyed that so I’m very proud that this council was able to work through that process and bring that opportunity again to the citizens,” says Mayor Seibert.
That lease went into effect once it was approved tonight. Opening day for the Blasters is Thursday May 19th at Joe Becker.