(KMOV.com) -- The River City Rascals are staying in O’Fallon, Missouri for another nine years, and the city gave the team some major perks to make it happen.
The team paid $175,000 in rent in 2012, but will pay just $50,000 in 2013 according to the terms of the new contract.
City officials say they were happy to work with the team rather than risk losing them all together.
The city says the ballpark and baseball team is O’Fallon’s biggest asset, and keeping a team that people know and love is an added value.
That lease payment will gradually increase over the next nine years of the contract...But will never get back to the $175,000 they currently pay.
Director of Public Relations Tom Drabelle says the new contract still averages out to what most minor league teams pay in rent money.
“We recognized the team had some financial challenges they had to deal with right away so we were willing to come down early in the lease to get through a few tough years we knew they were anticipating.”
The 2013 season begins in the end of next month, and according to the new deal the city will have to pay to put in a new playground and pavilion at the ballpark before the first game.