Members of the Taos Municipal School Board questioned a draft proposal to allow a Pecos League baseball team to use the Taos High baseball field.
Talks to bring the professional Taos Blizzard baseball team to town are becoming more concrete. Under a proposed arrangement, the school district would lease the field to the town during games, which would allow for the sale of beer. Town attorney Brian James said the lease language was borrowed from other agreements with the Pecos League, and that the league would provide insurance and indemnify the town.
“The Pecos League would assume liability,” he said.
During a discussion about the Blizzard at a Nov. 13 meeting of the Taos Municipal School Board, board member David Chávez said he would not be inclined to support a lease that would allow the team to play at the Taos High School baseball field. He said he sees the proposed sale of beer at Blizzard games as a “huge negative” and wondered how the district would benefit from an agreement.
Chávez also said he “essentially know(s) nothing about any of the details” and that his lack of knowledge about the proposed agreement is “unfair.”
Superintendent Rod Weston said the Taos community at-large stands to benefit economically and that it provides another opportunity for students to connect with sports. He said he sees allowing the Blizzard to play at Taos High as an “opportunity for the school district to give back to the community that built the field in the first place.”
Local sports consultant Marty Remaly told the board that the Pecos League’s 70-game season, which would include 20 home games for the Blizzard, only lasts from mid-May to mid-July.
“It’s a really quick season,” he said.
Weston said Taos students would have scheduling priority, as well.
“I think it has benefits for our kids and for our community,” he said.
Among board members, beer sales appeared to be the most notable sticking point. However, Weston said he has been working with the Taos Alive Coalition and that the local nonprofit, which seeks to reduce substance abuse, supports the lease agreement.
“I was pleasantly surprised,” he said. “I expected more resistance.”
Weston said the Coalition wants to help ensure underage drinking doesn’t occur at Taos Blizzard games. He said efforts will also be undertaken to curtail beer company advertising — specifically, by finding other sponsors to buy signs before alcohol companies do.
Board member Zach Córdova also expressed concern about accommodating cars during games.
“There’s not much parking,” he said.
Remaly said average game attendance is projected to be 167 people, though some events would be larger.
“It shouldn’t be a problem,” he said.
Weston asked the board for its support as he progresses with the lease. He said if the board feels the issue should be dropped, “you should let me know pretty soon.”
“I’m really looking for some support on this,” he said.
Board members requested further details, and Weston agreed to bring the issue back to the board at a future date.