City Approves Aces Ballpark Deal
The Reno City Council has given the final approval to finance a deal with the owners of the Reno Aces to pay $1 million a year over 30 years to help pay off the team's stadium debt. The $55 million loan it took to finance the project is due next December. But S-K baseball partners Herb Simon and Jerry Katzoff are nowhere near repaying that debt. The plan also asks Washoe County to put $500,000 from its general fund towards the stadium debt -- a total of $45 million in taxpayer funds. The council approved the deal with a 4 to 3 vote. Council members Dave Aiazzi, Dan Gustin, Pierre Hascheff and Mayor Bob Cashell supported the deal. Councilman Aiazzi says helping the Aces is better than a vacant stadium. "I don't think the ask is too much," Aiazzi said. "Do I want to do it? No. I've taken other risks before. I think this is something the public would like." Council members Jessica Sferrazza, Sharon Zadra and Dwight Dortch voted against it. Dortch says the city needs to use money from the general fund for other services: "We need to provide fire protection, police protection. Need to take care of our parks, and we're not doing that today," Dortch said. "So to expend general fund dollars for this is irresponsible in my opinion." As part of the deal, the Aces cannot leave Reno until the 30-year debt is paid in full.