- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 10, 2017

BELLEVUE, Neb. (AP) - An eastern Nebraska city has taken possession of a baseball complex and cut ties with the complex’s managers.

The Bellevue City Council unanimously approved an agreement Monday that severs the city’s relationship with World Baseball Village, which managed Champions Village. The baseball complex was built with public funds and opened in 2010, the Omaha World-Herald reported .

The city and managers entered a public-private partnership to build the $6.5 million complex. The city issued more than $3.5 million in bonds in 2009 to finance the project, with the goal that managers would pay them back with proceeds from tournaments.

World Baseball Village still hasn’t paid the city back in full, with Bellevue still on the hook for $2.5 million in bonds.

The agreement gives Bellevue possession of the complex. It also releases the city and managers of any obligations and liabilities toward each other.

Mayor Rita Sanders said the city will need to gain access to the property, evaluate it and decide what to do from there. She said the city has eyed the complex’s area for future growth.

The complex never lived up to revenue expectations. Champions Village opened during a recession, a flood hit in 2011 and a tornado swept through the complex in June.

The tornado damage resulted in the cancellation of a long tournament. Parents are still seeking refunds from the canceled tournament and started a Facebook page where many have expressed frustration with the city, elected officials and World Baseball Village.

Sanders said refunding the teams is the responsibility of World Baseball Village.


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

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