City Proposes Term Sheet That Outlines Long-Term Solution to Fresno Grizzlies’ Lease Arrangement

A sports management expert hired by the City of Fresno today proposed to City Council a term sheet that will provide the basis for a long-term solution to the city’s stadium lease arrangement with the Fresno Baseball Club.

Dan Barrett of Barrett Sports Group, who was hired by the city to analyze the complex lease issue and develop solutions, said the elements of the term sheet carefully balance the interests of the City and the Fresno Baseball Club, owners of the Fresno Grizzlies.

“We need a long-term solution here that protects the public's asset and provides an opportunity for the team to succeed,” Barrett said. “That's what this deal is intended to do."

The term sheet calls for the Grizzlies’ stadium rent to remain at $1.5 million per year. The Fresno Baseball Club will remain responsible for costs of stadium operations and maintenance, with the city reimbursing the team for 50 percent of certain expenses up to $500,000 annually. The City will also invest $100,000 annually in a capital reserve fund to offset the cost of stadium repairs and improvements. (A more detailed summary of the term sheet is attached.)

Barrett said the primary goals and objectives of the proposal are to:
• Protect the city’s investment in the stadium;
• Protect the city’s continued investment in downtown redevelopment and revitalization;
• Restructure the lease agreement to allow for the long-term viability of the Grizzlies;
• Provide the city with the opportunity to receive additional consideration when market conditions and/or team performance improves; and
• Provide the city with the opportunity to share in the appreciation of the value of the team in the event of a sale.

Council is expected to take action on the issue at its Dec. 17 meeting.