Public to hear details of baseball proposal Friday

Effort aimed at bringing Class A team to Vancouver

By Stephanie Rice, Columbian Vancouver city government reporter

Published:

Updated: May 12, 2011, 7:08 PM

 

Details of a proposal to bring a professional baseball team to Vancouver will be announced at a press conference at 1 p.m. Friday at Clark College.

Ron Arp, a project adviser for Identity Clark County, sent out the media advisory.

As reported in The Columbian in a “Print Extra” article on Tuesday, renewed interest in bringing a short-season Class A minor league team to Vancouver has been heating up.

Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt sent an email to council members last week, saying he’s participated in two meetings on an effort to land a Class A team.

Leaders of the effort include Arch Miller, a longtime Southwest Washington baseball advocate and founder of the Vancouver-based International Air and Hospitality Academy.

Members of the Arnada Neighborhood Association recently received a “fact sheet” about a proposal to build a stadium on Clark College property that could also be used by the college’s baseball, softball and soccer teams.

The Class A team would play 38 evening games from mid-June to Labor Day, according to the fact sheet.

In March, a Facebook page was created by Mike Bomar, a former Prairie High School baseball player and current coach for the Falcons who pitched for the University of Washington and played for a short-season Class A minor league team.

Bomar created “Bring Pro Baseball to Vancouver,” which can be found at http://www.facebook.com/BaseballVancouver.

Bomar said Monday that when the Beavers left Portland, it created a vacuum that Vancouver and other outlying communities are racing to fill.

“I think we are the largest market in the country without a professional team,” Bomar said. “There’s no reason why minor league baseball shouldn’t be in the area.”

His goal with the Facebook page, which has been “liked” by more than 840 people, was to show community support.

Arp said Monday that having a baseball team “legitimizes your community” and can be used not only as a form of family-friendly entertainment but also as an asset to help sell businesses wanting to relocate to Clark County.

“This is all part of Vancouver and Clark County growing up,” Arp said.

Stephanie Rice: 360-735-4508 or stephanie.rice@columbian.com.