Montgomery County gets in the minor league act

We know about Sugar Land’s plan to build a stadium for a minor league baseball team. They’ve now been joined by a neighbor to the north in that pursuit.

The East Montgomery County Improvement District signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ventura Sports Group and Sugar Land-based Wallace Bajjali Development Partners to build a stadium in Montgomery County with the intention of hosting independent minor league baseball in 2012.

The site would be in Porter just off the U.S. 59 feeder road near the proposed intersection with the Grand Parkway extension.

According to the parties involved, the ballpark — located on 42 acres of land purchased by Wallace Bajjali — would be part of a larger development, which could feature a hotel, dining and retail.

“We bought this land knowing it was a growth corridor,” said David Wallace, CEO of Wallace Bajjali and former mayor of Sugar Land.

As the story notes, Venture was the runnerup in the Sugar Land process. I guess there’s only so many outfits that do this sort of thing.

The project is a mix of private funds with public money, which McCrady said could come from a parking tax, a venue tax and/or a sales tax.

Remember what Oliver Luck said a few weeks ago? I wonder how the mix of public and private funds will compare to that for Dynamo Stadium, assuming it ever really does get built.

Like in the Sugar Land plan, the first pitch will not be thrown by any major league club’s prospect. Only independent leagues will be considered.

The Astros declined to waive their right to block an affiliated team from moving into their metropolitan area in the Sugar Land case.

“We had heard time and time again that the Astros were not interested, so we didn’t approach them,” [Ventura managing partner Mark] Schuster said.

Yeah, I’m curious as to what the Astros think about all this. It’s not clear to me that it wouldn’t have been better for them to want affiliated teams in their area, like the Yankees and the Mets have. I guess we’ll see how it goes.

UPDATE: Houstonist has more.

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