SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) —The Sioux City City Council approved the Sioux City Explorers’s proposal for Lewis and Clark Park Monday afternoon and has agreed to enter into negotiations with the team.
The city council met for their regular meeting on Monday and voted 5-0 to approve the consent agenda. The motion authorizing the city to enter into negotiations with the Sioux City Explorers Baseball Club, LLC to work on a lease agreement for Lewis and Clark Park was part of the consent agenda.
In the meeting, Mayor Bob Scott said that renewing the lease is business as usual for the city and the baseball team.
“The reality is we’re here because the lease is up, not because we’re making any demands on the X’s,” Scott said. “Whenever you have an agenda item like this, the perception is that the council should let everyone know on Facebook how they’re gonna vote. Well, that’s not the case, because you make a decision on who you’re voting for until you at least see the proposals from the other parties and what they are. We’re here today because the Explorers have — according to your committee which we ran it through a couple — the best proposal and that’s the way the process should work.”
City Council member Alex Watters also spoke about the proposal, saying he is looking forward to the continued partnership of the team and the city, adding feedback. He thought a potential lease agreement could be shorter, offering a 5-year proposal while also looking at three areas –attendance, community engagement, and capital improvements — to measure the growth of the club.
“That’s what kind of what I, after thinking long and hard about this and reading through the proposals, some of the thoughts I had,” Watters said. “And whether it all works out in negotiations or not, I’m going to trust the committee just as we’ve trust them up to this process.”
Mayor Pro-Tem Dan Moore thanked the Explorers for their proposal and also offered thanks to the community.
“I also want thank the people that sent emails to me in support of the Explorers and how excited they are and how positive those comments were. It was really refreshing to see that,” Moore said.
Lewis and Clark Park has been home to the team since the stadium opened in 1993.
The Explorers’ 10-year lease of Lewis & Clark Park will end on April 27, 2024. The City of Sioux City fielded requests for leasing of the park. Two proposals were submitted by the due date of Sep. 8. One came from the Explorers and the other from Northwoods League, a collegiate summer baseball wood bat league.
In the X’s proposal, the baseball club offered $100,000 per year for 12 years as well as the continued investment into the infrastructure and amenities at Lewis & Clark Park. Their proposal also offers 15 days of non-tenant use of Lewis & Clark Park.
Meanwhile, the Northwood League offered $25,000 per year for 10 years as well as $500,000 in capital improvements. Their proposal would offer 10 non-tenant days of use. The league also expressed an interest in bringing a Summer Women’s Collegiate Softball League to Sioux City.
Northwoods League commissioner Dick Radatz, Jr. spoke on how he feels Sioux City is an appealing destination for an expansion of the franchise.
A selection committee had recommended the Sioux City Explorers Baseball Club proposal be presented to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board for approval on Sep. 15.
On Sep. 27, the Sioux City Parks and Recreation advisory committee voted unanimously to support the selection committee’s recommendation to accept the Sioux City Explorers’ proposal to remain as sole tenants of the baseball stadium.
Below is a copy of the Explorer’s proposal for leasing Lewis & Clark Park.