- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 27, 2015

BELLEVUE, Neb. (AP) - The Bellevue City Council has approved a renegotiated contract with the financially troubled World Baseball Village that lets the complex operate until Nov. 30, with an option for a one-year extension if the complex makes its rent payments.

The agreement approved Monday includes a requirement that World Baseball Village management must pay back the city, which covered the December 2014 bond payment of $287,000, according to the Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/1BjCQUH ).

The complex was built through a public-private partnership and opened in 2010. In 2009 Bellevue issued $4.5 million in bonds to help acquire an 87-acre site and finance construction. The bond agreement calls for the city to cover the debt if payments are missed. The city owns the complex, and a group called World Baseball Village manages the facility.

The facility has struggled. It was downsized from the start and has rarely fulfilled tournament expectations.

Under the renegotiated contract, the city can sell all or part of the complex at any time, but World Baseball Village has the right to match or exceed any offer.

Mayor Rita Sanders said she hopes the baseball complex will be able to meet its payments. If not, Sanders said, perhaps developers will be interested in the property.

Doug Hill, a Bellevue architect and an owner of World Baseball Village, said he expects more than 90 teams to stay and play tournaments in June on the six-field complex.

“I think this agreement works out for both sides,” Hill said. “It gets us through a difficult time and gives us time to catch up.”

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com


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