Minor league team coming?

A news conference in scheduled in Royse City Monday to announce plans for an independent professional minor league baseball team and details involving a multipurpose stadium that will be built.

ROYSE CITY — A news conference in scheduled in Royse City Monday to announce plans for an independent professional minor league baseball team and details involving a multipurpose stadium that will be built.

Local officials are not saying much about the major development. They’re holding off releasing details until a 1 p.m. Monday news conference that will be conducted at city hall in Royse City.

According to a “press advisory” from Ventura Sports Group, the news conference will involve officials of the City of Royse City, Royse City Independent School District, professional baseball team ownership and Southwest League of Professional Baseball.

The Royse City ISD Board of Trustees discussed the project — specifically plans for the stadium — during an executive session at a special meeting Friday morning.

The school board later approved a 15-year lease agreement with Ventura Sports Group that would allow Royse City High School junior varsity and varsity baseball teams to play baseball games in the stadium that would be built.

The lease agreement is pending Ventura Sports Group’s approval.

Ventura Sports Group announced in a Feb. 15 news release that the Southwest League of Professional Baseball was joining the ranks of the top independent leagues.  The league, featuring teams that will play in new multi-use facilities in Texas, will begin play in April 2018. The league will look to expand to surrounding states in the coming years.

The league’s president is Mark Schuster, who has owned and operated numerous minor league franchises while focusing on building new ballparks in “underserved markets.”

Schuster said Royse City would be the second team in the new league. The first was in Bellmead, which is next door to Waco. Four other teams will be added for the season that will begin in 2018.

“We have some tremendous markets that are excited about building new multipurpose venues that will play host to minor league baseball and a myriad of other events,” he said in the February news release. “We will be introducing the cities over the coming weeks and months,”  

According to the news release, each SWL team will be announced in the near future followed by name-the-team contests and opening of season ticket season sales for each market.

“Each location will be the home of a new state-of-the-art multi-use stadium with seating capacity between 2,000 and 4,000 fans,” the news release stated. “Each new stadium will have a fan/social friendly design featuring amenities for all, including Kids Zones, an array of food and beverage options, private party areas, interactive games, luxury suites and a state-of- the-art LED videoboard.”

Another key component of the plan involves an adjacent “Ballpark Village” that will include restaurant, commercial and other retail space.

“We’re thrilled to be moving into markets that are currently underserved,” Schuster said in the news release. “Our commitment to our community partners is to enhance the quality of life by providing affordable family entertainment year round.”