PEORIA, Ill. -- The Peoria City Council has approved, in a 9-1 vote, a proposal to save the Peoria Chiefs' stadium.
Now in default on their loan, Chiefs officials have come up with a three-part plan to stay afloat. The plan includes new equity from the ownership group, new revenue from Bradley University and Caterpillar and debt forgiveness. In addition, the Chiefs will switch to Morton Community Bank, saving over $1 million.
Tonight, the Chiefs are asking the city council to forgive their remaining bond payments of $150,000 for eight years. Currently the payments are paid through ballpark property taxes.
There are some provisions to this. If professional baseball is not played at the stadium, the Chiefs ownership group will be required to pay the city back. The Chiefs cannot contest property taxes for a number of years and, if approved, Peoria residents would be able to attend five games per year at half price.
It is important to note that if the Peoria Chiefs were to cease playing minor league baseball, under current terms, the city would still be obligated to pay the bonds and any tax revenue would end.
If the council had not approved the measure tonight, Caterpillar would have pulled its $2 million naming rights offer off the table.
This story will be updated.