Change in sublease could signal Ghosts are on the move
The Casper Ghosts haven’t been released from their lease agreement with the city of Casper, but it could happen soon.
The Ghosts’ sublease agreement was reduced this past season, Casper American Legion President Cole Chuman told The Daily Sentinel on Thursday.
The Rookie affiliate of the Colorado Rockies is in the process of relocating to Grand Junction for the 2012 season, although city of Grand Junction officials refuse to confirm negotiations are under way.
A reduced buyout with Casper would make it easier financially for the club to move.
The Ghosts sublease Mike Lansing Field from the Casper American Legion. The field is owned by the city of Casper, which leases it to the American Legion.
“It’s been kind of a love/hate relationship with the Ghosts,” Chuman said. “When we had to make a decision on (stadium use), the communication was not the best. Since the Rockies took ownership, the communication was a lot better.”
Chuman began hearing rumors of the Ghosts possibly leaving Casper when the Colorado Rockies’ general partners, Dick and Charlie Monfort, bought a majority share of the team in January.
According to the U.S. Census, the population of Casper was 55,316 in 2010. The population of Grand Junction was 58,566. Casper is in east central Wyoming, roughly 175 miles northwest of Cheyenne.
“We made some revisions a year ago (with the Ghosts),” Chuman said. “We heard those rumors since the Monforts bought the Ghosts. We lowered the buyout amount for them so their obligation was not as hefty, and they agreed to change (the lease agreement).”
Chuman has worked closely with the city of Casper and the Ghosts over use of the field. The legion program uses the field through the summer months, the same time as the Ghosts’ season.
The American Legion and the Ghosts had to coordinate their schedules to avoid conflicting home games.
“I haven’t seen anything official, but I’m under the impression it will happen within the next few days,” Chuman said of the Ghosts leaving Casper.
“It’s a big deal to us. We’re losing money as a renter. Plus, we sell 50/50 raffle tickets at Ghosts games, so we’ll have to find another way to raise money. On the other hand, we’ll have the stadium to ourselves.”