Supervisors OK deal for Tucson Padres
Tucson Padres general manager Mike Feder said ticket prices will be the cheapest in Triple-A baseball.

As expected, the Pima County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved the agreement with the Pima County Sports and Tourism Authority for the Tucson Padres to play at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium during the 2011 season.

Tucson AAA Baseball will operate the San Diego Padres' Triple-A team, and the agreement is for one year with an option for an additional year. The team will play at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium, formerly known as Tucson Electric Park, in 2011, and likely 2012 while a ballpark is expected to be built in Escondido, Calif.

"It occupies a stadium and brings baseball back, so we're pleased," County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said. "There's no harm to the taxpayers. That was one of our criteria. We should actually come out a little ahead."

The home opener is April 15. Tucson Padres general manager Mike Feder said ticket prices will be the cheapest in Triple-A baseball. Ticket costs will be $5.50 for general-admission students, senior citizens and military, $6.50 for general-admission adults, $8.50 behind the dugouts and $10.50 between the dugouts.

"The one thing we have to educate the public on is it is a great ballpark," Feder said. "If we make it fun for people and it's affordable, family entertainment, and people enjoy coming out, then we can overcome the misconceptions that occur concerning the ballpark."

The board voted Tuesday with no discussion, and Feder thanked the supervisors. The board also approved 5-0 the official renaming of Tucson Electric Park to Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium. Tucson Electric Power Co. had a naming-rights deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks but did not renew its contract after the team announced it was moving to a new spring training facility near Scottsdale. Kino Stadium is also the former home of the Triple-A Tucson Sidewinders, who were sold and moved to Reno, Nev.

Tucson AAA Baseball will pay the Pima County stadium district $60,000 in ticket surcharge revenue. There will be a 50-cent per ticket surcharge for every ticket sold for a home game. Tucson AAA Baseball then will pay $50,000 in surcharge revenue to the PCSTA.

The surcharge revenue then will be split evenly between the district and PCSTA.

Tucson AAA Baseball will maintain the field at its cost and pay for all utilities, which will cost about $100,000, Feder said. Tucson AAA Baseball will keep all revenue from sponsorship, signage, gate and suite receipts, concessions and merchandise.

"The county has been great," Feder said. "Ever since we finalized things, they've reached out and said, 'What can we do to work together?' That's encouraging."

Tucson AAA Baseball can use the stadium for a major-league spring training game between the San Diego Padres and another team on an undetermined date. Tucson AAA Baseball will receive all revenue and will pay the district $3,000 for use of the stadium for the game.

Tucson Padres

• Home opener: April 15

• Ticket cost: $5.50 to $10.50

• Contact info: 434-1367

• Where: Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium (formerly Tucson Electric Park)