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Negotiations for Victoria baseball team proceed

Victoria city council has given the director of parks Kate Friars the green light to negotiate a non-binding agreement with a new baseball team for summertime use of Royal Athletic Park.

Under debate are the economics of running the park and the concessions required to bring a baseball team back to Victoria, as well as specific issues regarding community uses and beverage sales. Most council discussion has taken place in meetings closed to the public.

“I didn’t vote in favour of this motion because I feel the city should retain operational control (of the park),” said Coun. Ben Isitt.

Alex Kerr is president of the North Park Neighbourhood Association, where the Royal Athletic Park is located.

“I’m not in favour of a single use of the park,” said Kerr.

The Victoria Highlanders soccer season overlaps the baseball season, he pointed out.

“They plan to use it as their home park.”

Kerr said the neighbourhood has not yet been consulted, but has requested to be consulted before any deal is signed.

Mayor Dean Fortin has previously said that any deal must be fair to Victoria citizens.

In 2010, the Victoria Seals left the Royal Athletic Park due in part to a disagreement with the terms of use of the park. The proposed team would belong to the West Coast League, a summer collegiate-level league.

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