AAA ball returning to Tucson - The Explorer: Sports

AAA ball returning to Tucson

San Diego Padres minor leaguers to play here at least a year

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Posted: Wednesday, November 10, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 8:20 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

After a two-year hiatus, Minor League baseball is scheduled to make a return to Tucson in 2011.

The San Diego Padres Triple-A team plans to relocate for at least one season while the club awaits a decision from the Escondido City Council in California on the construction of a new stadium, according to a news release from the Pima County Sports and Tourism Authority.

Mike Feder, current executive director of the authority and former general manager of the Tucson Toros and Sidewinders, will operate the team. He has completed a management agreement with the Padres, which will include Tucson investors, according to the news release.

The local investors are being named soon, the release said.

"Even though this agreement is being announced as a minimum of a one-year deal, it's important as a community that we show the Pacific Coast League that we are a viable market for the next team that might look to relocate," Feder said.

Triple-A Baseball had a 39-year stint in Tucson until 2009, when the Sidewinders relocated to Reno, Nev. The Tucson Toros first played in 1969 at Hi Corbett Field.

The new team is coming to Tucson from Portland, Ore., where its owners plan to sell the team to an ownership group headed by Padres owner Jeff Moorad. The transaction is pending based on the necessary confirmations from the Pacific Coast League and Minor League Baseball, the release said.

The Pima County Sports and Tourism Authority is in negotiation with Pima County for lease of Tucson Electric Park for the 2011 season.

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