Triple A professional baseball coming to Mission Viejo?

Brings back memories of Vigilantes half time entertainment

Dennis Wilberg 

, our Mission Viejo City Manager, continues to amaze me. We just received a last minute addition to his City Manager items on our council Agenda for Monday’s meeting. Under City Manager’s report is a proposal for building a minor league baseball stadium in Mission Viejo
Under source of funding, in the proposal from Mike Higgins and Dave Kukuk, it reads: 

“Most of the public funds come in the form of long-term municipal bonds issued by the civic authority (City, County, State, etc.). These bonds usually comprise the overwhelming majority of the contributed capital in a stadium development deal.” 

They are right. This is a one sided deal.  Dennis was a senior member of our staff when we had a similar “opportunity” in 1996,97 when the Long Beach Riptide moved to Mission Viejo and changed their name to the Vigilantes. We were to build a $6 million stadium at Saddleback College which later resulted in our filing a lawsuit against the college. 

Didn’t Dennis learn from that experiment with the Vigilantes sneaking out of town in the dark of night after we lost over one million dollars.
I recall the Register cartoon of phony attendance with cardboard cutouts representing fans in the stands. 

Great timing and opportunity.
Larry, how much money are they talking about. A valid question. Exhibit E-Mock Stadium Capital Structure. 

Public funds $35 million, representing 87.5% of the total, and private equity of $5 million or 12.5%.
“Traditionally, in the case of stadium financing, revenue for the debt service is often generated via rent paid by the team (which appears as an expense on the team’s income statement), and from parking and concessions revenues that the team earns on game days. Increasingly, provisions can be built into debt service contracts whereby the team can use the revenue generated from ticket surcharges.” 

No, Dennis, what Mission Viejo needs is a City mortuary and a grave yard for these pipe dreams. Lower Curtis Park would be a great location. And we would not have to contend with stadium lighting and noise. 

About Larry Gilbert