City officials gathered downtown this morning to make the speculation official: Amarillo is getting a baseball team! Mayor Ginger Nelson along with team owner D.G. Elmore announced that the AA Texas League San Antonio Missions will play starting with the 2019 season.

From the Amarillo Globe-News: “We are very excited,” said D.G. Elmore, group chairman. “We have moved teams at various times in our 36-year history of owning ballclubs, and as I reflect, I don’t think there is a time we have seen the level of business support like this. In many ways, it’s unprecedented,” Elmore said. “This type of support is fantastic.”

With the announcement of the team's move, this means that the city will continue the next step of building the new downtown stadium and multi-purpose event complex. Stadium plans had been on hold until a team could be secured. The new $45.5 million downtown complex is expected to span about nine acres for around 7th Avenue to 8th Avenue, and from Buchanan Street to Johnson Street. The new team's lease is expected to be finalized in the next couple weeks for a term of 20-30 years in Amarillo.

Credit: KAMR Local 4 News

Amarillo hasn't had a AA affiliated team in 37 years, when the Amarillo Gold Sox left in 1982. Our new team will be affiliated with the San Diego Padres, although new affiliation contracts will be negotiated in 2018, meaning that affiliation could change. Once the team starts play, they will average 70 home games downtown.

Here is this morning's press conference courtesy of our partners at KAMR Local 4: