I was going to post this under today's links, but I think it's a topic that deserves its own space for discussion and speculation. As previously noted here, the Padres AAA affiliate in Portland is going to be homeless after this season, as PGE Park is being converted into a Soccer stadium for an MLS expansion team. The owners of the Padres would like to move the team to a proposed 10,000 seat ballpark on the campus of Cal State San Marcos. (I'm imagining "Stone Field") The team would need a temporary home for at least the next two seasons while the proposed park is built. Most news stories have suggested that the team would likely relocate to an unoccupied spring training facility in Tucson during that time.
As a North County resident, I love the idea of the Padres AAA club moving here and I think CSU San Marcos, with its central location, freeway access and Sprinter station is an ideal location. This move also has a lot of upside for the development focused Padres, as everyone in SD will get to know their prospects through local media coverage before they get promoted to the major league club. As far as I'm concerned this move cannot happen soon enough.
According to the PCL President (see story in 5/11 links) the exit from Portland is a done deal but the temporary relocation to Tucson is not. I was wondering if there is anywhere in the SD area where the AAA club could play until the San Marcos facility is completed. I found this from San Diego Sports Examiner:
"San Diego State’s Tony Gwynn Stadium has an official capacity of 3,000. Cunningham Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego and UCSD’s Triton Ballpark both seat around 1,200."
With those options it looks like Arizona would still be the most likely location, unless they want to try some arrangement of playing part time at T. Gwynn with some double headers with the Pads at Petco and some weekend games there when the Padres are on the road. That could be difficult, but trying to draw fans in Tucson when everyone knows you're leaving in two years doesn't seem very attractive either.
Alright, I'm all over the place with this, but I'm excited about it and I would love to hear what other fans think about AAA in San Marcos, possible temporary locations for the club, ways that they could cross promote with the Padres and how lame Portland is for blowing off baseball for so-called "major league" soccer.