Ballparks of America has come under new ownership.
Ballparks of America, LLC, a local investment group out of Springfield, MO, are the new owners of Ballparks of America.
“I was on Ballparks of America’s fields the first time they ever had a tournament to coach my kids. I was there for their first premium summer tournament and I’ve been on those fields as a coach, I’m very confident, more than anybody else has,” said investor-owner and Springfield attorney Paul Satterwhite.
“What I’ve observed through that is what the place can be and not what it was. We love the fields, but everything else about it, from the parking lot to the facilities and the shape they were in, to the overall experience and what they were communicating about the city of Branson, to the failure to really partner with the folks and send them out to the city of Branson concerned me. And I believed it could be done better, but I never thought we’d be a part of doing it until this sort of fell into our laps two months ago.”
According to the new owners, Ballparks of America looks to have a bright future in store.
“The new ownership group is committed to significant improvements on the property before the first tournaments take place this spring with even more amenities available by the summer and (are determined) to putting on a great vacation tournament experience for the teams that are coming this year,” said Satterwhite.
According to the press release, in 2014, the city of Branson entered into a ground lease agreement with, the original owners, Ballparks of Branson, LLC. In 2019, Ballparks of Branson, LLC defaulted on their loan by Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust in regards to financing that had been taken out against improvements on the property.
When Ballparks of Branson, LLC defaulted, Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust began their search for a new owner and have entered into an agreement with the similarly named group, Ballparks of America, LLC.
Ballparks of America, LLC is currently in the negotiation phase with two national operators to manage the facility.
The Branson Board of Aldermen consented to the Assignment and Assumption Agreement between Ballparks of America, LLC and Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust Company at the Jan. 28 meeting, as well as passed the first reading to amend the city of Branson’s 2020 Budget by $50,000 to assist Ballparks of America with landscaping and parking lot renovations.
With the first and final reading of the Ground Lease Agreement between the city of Branson and Ballparks of America, LLC both passing at the meeting, the agreement has been officially amended and adopted.
According to the release, substantive changes to the Ground Lease Agreement include:
–Involves both Tract One and Tract Two of the property.
–New term of 35 years
–Rent abatement provided for direct costs of improvements made to the property by Ballparks of America, LLC.
–Upfront landscaping contributions of $25,000 and annual landscaping contribution of $15,000 paid by the city of Branson.
–Both parties will split the cost of filling and resurfacing the parking lots with the city of Branson contributing no more than $25,000.
–Any subtenants that are not directly related to sports or owned by Ballparks of America, LLC will go before the Board of Aldermen for approval and be required to remit 3.75% of all gross receipts to the city of Branson.
–The prohibition of operating an onsite lodging establishment has been removed along with the continuous occupancy penalty.
–The city of Branson will assist with tax abatement and community improvement district financing as permitted by law.
More information regarding Ballparks of America will be discussed at future Branson Board of Aldermen meetings.
NOTE: This story was edited Jan. 31, 2020 to include more comments from Paul Satterwhite.