Play ball: Lease agreement clears the way for minor league baseball

A minor league baseball team is expected to begin playing in Grand Junction in June following the approval of a lease agreement to use Suplizio Field.

The Grand Junction City Council approved the lease agreement that will accommodate the Grand Junction Rockies, a minor league team of the Colorado Rockies. The Pioneer League team previously played in Casper, Wyo.

“This is an exciting opportunity not only for the Grand Junction community, but all of Western Colorado,” said Grand Junction Mayor Tom Kenyon. “Minor league baseball has a big following and it adds just one more amenity to the list that makes Grand Junction a regional hub. We look forward to a long and successful relationship with minor league baseball.”

Ongoing improvements at Suplizio Field, including $8.3 million in renovations now under construction, were among the attributes that attracted the team.

Kenyon credited the local committee that oversees the Junior College Baseball World Series played at Suplizio Field each year for its role in bringing about those improvements.

“On behalf of the city, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the members of the JUCO committee for their foresight in bringing the stadium renovation project forward,” Kenyon said. “Without that renovation taking place, minor league baseball would not be a reality in Grand Junction.”

Dick Monfort, a member of the group that owns the Grand Junction and Colorado Rockies baseball teams, said he’s excited to bring minor league baseball to the region.

“The City of Grand Junction and the surrounding region have demonstrated their passion and support for baseball for many decades,” Monfort said. “We’re extremely excited to moving ahead with our relationship with the city, the citizens, businesses and baseball supporters throughout the region.”