The Colorado Rockies owners have succeeded in using a threat to demand upgrades to Coors Field to get the state of Colorado to sell them a large plot of land for development, as first reported last week:
The Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, the state division that owns Coors Field. In trade, the Rockies will be allowed to lease and develop a valuable plot of land directly south of the stadium for 99 years. For that, the team will pay the district $125 million.
Those numbers are a bit confusing, because part of the “lease payments” is actually the price for right to the land: The Rockies owners will pay $2.5 million a year in stadium rent for 30 years (up from $1 million a year under their old lease), plus $125 million over the next 30 years but “front-loaded.” If we guesstimate that that’s, say, $100 million in actual present value, then since an additional $1.5 million a year over 30 years is worth about $25 million in present value … let’s see, carry the two … if the land rights are worth significantly more than $125 million, the Rockies got a steal here, and if less than $125 million, then Colorado taxpayers are making out. Based on Google Maps eyeballing, it looks like about 400 by 250 feet, which is … let’s see, carry the two … 100,000 square feet, or about 2.3 acres. A couple of years ago a nearby 15,000-square-foot parcel sold for $10 million, so it actually looks like the state got a reasonable price. Wait, a stadium deal where potentially everybody’s happy? I must have woken up in Bizarro World this morning.