Slammers vote could happen Monday
By Bob Okon firstname.lastname@example.org September 27, 2012 12:58PM
Joliet Slammers starting pitcher #28 Jim Schult vs Lake Erie Crushers held at Silver Cross Field and Slammers lost 2-1 on Sunday, August 19, 2012. | Larry Kane~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 29, 2012 6:52AM
JOLIET — Baseball will be a tentative item on the Monday agenda for the Joliet City Council, meaning a possible vote on a lease for a group that wants to buy the Slammers.
City Manager Thomas Thanas said Thursday morning that a lease is not ready yet but could be wrapped up by Monday.
Thanas said a meeting of the council’s baseball committee will be scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at city hall. The lease also will be on the agenda for the pre-council meeting that follows at 3:30 p.m.
The committee meeting could be canceled and agenda item pulled if a lease agreement is not reached by then, Thanas said. But, “This issue is time sensitive,” he said. We want to hold a spot on the council agenda if it is ready.”
Baseball won’t start until May. But Thanas said he is trying to avoid the situation that developed when Slammers’ owner Alan Oremus took over the Joliet baseball franchise at the end of 2010, not providing the off-season time that the new management wanted in order to build the business before the season started.
“We really cannot wait until November or December to put a team together,” Thanas said.
A lease agreement could face questions from council members, however, since the buying group is looking for lower rent than what the Slammers paid. Thanas said rent will be lowered but still bring in enough money to cover the costs of maintaining Silver Cross Field without dipping into city funds.
The buyers have not been identified, although Thanas said none of them are from the Joliet and Will County area. While the city does not own the team, the buyers essentially would be acquiring the lease to Silver Cross Field, which the city owns.
Silver Cross Field was built in 2002. The JackHammers paid $230,000 a year before going out of business in 2010. The rent was lowered to $150,000 for the Slammers, who have said that they were not able to make a profit in their two seasons in Joliet.