Triple-A baseball is coming back to Tucson for a cameo appearance.
The San Diego Padres' Triple-A affiliate, the El Paso Chihuahuas, formerly the Tucson Padres, will play four games at Kino Stadium from April 11-14 against the Reno Aces, the top affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The construction for the team's new ballpark in El Paso won't be completed in time for the originally scheduled home opener.
So the Chihuahuas will play their first four "home" games at the familiar Kino Stadium.
"We'll do the best we possibly can to entertain the fans and treat those four days with respect," former Tucson Padres general manager Mike Feder said. "I have about two months to come up with a plan."
The game times have yet to be set. It's likely the games on the 11th and 12th will be night games, followed by a Sunday day game on the 13th. The Monday finale will likely be a night game.
Tickets will go on sale in early March.
Feder said he "wasn't all that surprised" by the move. The Chihuahuas schedule starts with eight road games before the four "home" games. The team then heads back out on the road for 12 more games. El Paso is now expected to open its new ballpark on April 28.
The Triple-A games come during a busy sports weekend in Tucson. The Arizona Wildcats baseball team will host UCLA, the defending national champions, on April 11-13 at Hi Corbett Field. The UA football team will also play its spring game on April 12.
"This is just another choice for sports fans in Tucson," Feder said.