'In limbo'

The long-anticipated baseball stadium project for a semi-professional team in Royse City has hit a roadblock and is in limbo.

ROYSE CITY — The long-anticipated baseball stadium project for a semi-professional team in Royse City has hit a roadblock and is in limbo.

Mark Schuster, the developer of the stadium, told the Herald-Banner that the Royse City baseball stadium is currently at a standstill, and admitted to facing some unforeseen difficulties in financing the project.

“Limbo would be an accurate way to describe the situation,” Schuster said.

Schuster has been spearheading the effort to organize the Southwest Baseball League and has also invested in the creation of the Royse City Griffins baseball team. Several local businesses, including Soulman’s Bar-B-Que and Thirsty Bro Brewing, have announced plans to work with the Royse City team.

The league has introduced four teams out of the six that it has promised, including Waco and Joplin, Missouri. In July 2018, the league announced through a press release that a team from Dallas would be joining the league. According to release, the team would play at Reverchon Park.

The Joplin Globe, a CNHI publication, reported in January that Schuster had defaulted on a $35,000 lease payment to the city for Joe Becker Stadium, which was scheduled to host home games for the Joplin Miners.

According to the January report, Joplin city officials spent $5 million to renovate the stadium in preparation for professional baseball.

Schuster told the Herald-Banner that the league and the city officials of Joplin parted ways amicably.

“I can’t say enough about the people that worked with us in Joplin; they were great,” Schuster said. “And we may be able to go down that road again once we get the financing in order. They left that option open for us.”

Land that had been planned as the site of the Royse City stadium is located at the intersection of FM 2642 and Interstate 30, across the highway from the Buc-ee’s that is nearing construction.

Schuster said he was ready to close on the property as recently as April 2018.

“Closing on the land is critical, but it’s a step in a long line of steps,” Schuster said previously. “Once we close on the land, we can get a date for breaking ground on the stadium.”

And despite some of the set backs, Schuster said he is still committed to establishing the league.

Larry Lott, president of the Royse City Community Development Corporation, said incentives for the ballpark have been “pulled off the table.”

He, however, added that the development corporation would consider incentives for Schuster if he found the financing needed to get the league successfully started.

“Mr. Schuster indicated that he does not currently have funding for the development of the proposed  baseball league. Also, the property owners for Anderson Crossing have rescinded their contract with Mr. Schuster,” Lott stated. “Because of these two items, the (development corporation) made its decision to pull their incentive offer. We do not have a contract with Mr. Schuster or his league, so our decision to withdraw from an expired letter of intent was made and communicated to Mr. Schuster last week.”

Education & Special Projects / Royse City Reporter

Hojun Choi is a native of Houston and a graduate of University of Texas at Austin, where he studied journalism and worked as a reporter at The Daily Texan. To reach him outside of business hours, email HChoiReporter@gmail.com.