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Peoria Chiefs bailout plan approved by City Council

Last fall, the St. Louis Cardinals committed to return its Class-A affiliation to Peoria for at least the next four years, from 2013 through 2016. The only question that has arisen since was whether the Chiefs would be able to remain in the Illinois city for the duration of the contract.

Dealing with serious financial difficulties, the money-losing club put together an assistance plan totaling $7.35 million. While most of the money is privately-sourced, the City of Peoria’s contribution was needed to close the equation.

On Tuesday night, the City Council approved a proposal to forgive about $1.2 million in debt the Chiefs owes the city. Payments of $150,000 per year over the next eight years remained on bonds issued to cover land acquisition costs and infrastructure improvements when the privately-owned stadium was constructed.

According to a report from the Peoria Journal Star, the locals determined the potential of losing the team was a worse fate than anteing up. As a result, the Council vote was a decisive 9-1 in favor.

Another $1.2 million in club debt will be forgiven by the banks that hold the stadium mortgage. $2.7 million of investment, including $300,000 in fresh money plus conversion of existing loans and interest into new equity, will be provided by the Chiefs’ ownership group of about 50 individuals.

Other components of the financial boost include a $2 million commitment from local industrial giant Caterpillar for stadium naming rights over the next decade and an increase of $250,000 from Bradley University during the same time period for use of the ballpark by the college team.

All of the elements of the proposal were contingent upon each other, with the City approval the last remaining step.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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7 Responses to “Peoria Chiefs bailout plan approved by City Council”

  1. JumboShrimp says:

    Its odd how this season has a surprising character: great starting pitching; relief problems with Mote, Boggs, Rzepcynski; great job by Mujica;; fine hitting by a few (Beltran, Adams, Carpenter), slumps by others (Freese, Craig, Jay, Descalso). Overall, we probably have enough pieces and we find ways to win, but its not easy.

  2. blingboy says:

    The City of Peoria gets the economic boost from having the team remain in exchange for forgiving debt. The ownership group gets equity for forgiving debt. Caterpillar gets naming rights. Bradley U. gets stability in their stadium lease over ten years.

    So what do the banks holding the mortgage get for forgiving $1.2Million in debt?

    • CariocaCardinal says:

      The banks get the hope that the team can pay the bills on the amount they are not forgiving. better half aan apple than no apple at all.

  3. Brian Walton says:

    “The Peoria Chiefs have announced that as a thank you to the city of Peoria and its residents for continuing to support Midwest League baseball and the organization, all Club Box tickets for May 24-27 will be half price ($5.00 on May 24-26 and $2.50 on May 27).”

  4. Nutlaw says:

    This bullpen is preposterously bad. They can’t keep sending Boggs out there. Fake an injury to get him on the DL or something.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Matheny had Motte save every single game last year. This year, he is relying on Rosenthal and Mujica.
      Mo and Matheny need to cultivate more bullpen depth, see who else can collect outs. Maness needs to get a chance soon.
      We did a good thing by getting Rzepcynski out of there. He can regroup at Memphis and decide if he wants to get back to the majors. DLing Boggs would be ok. Kelly needs to be sent back to Memphis to get his act together too.
      :Let’s bring up Gast and try him in relief. Even Marte is improving. Its good they shifted Cleto to starting, because he needs the innings.

  5. Brian Walton says:

    Caterpillar has selected “Dozer Park” as the new name for Chiefs Stadium. Let the sleeping jokes begin…

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