The City of O’Fallon has allowed the Rascals back into the offices/stadium to prepare for the 2019 season as an act of good faith, but says that the team still owes the city money.
UPDATE: 10/26/18 3:30pm
The City of O’Fallon says they have terminated their lease with the River City Rascals because ownership is consistently behind on payments violating their lease agreement. They plan on looking at new options which could include a different team or working out a new deal with the Rascals.
St. Louis Rams, St. Louis Swarm, St. Louis Riversharks, Gateway Steam, Missouri River Otters, St. Charles Chill, Missouri Monsters, St. Louis Attack, River City Raiders, St. Louis Slam (though they just took a season off and will be back next season), etc… Will the River City Rascals be next to leave?
You probably haven’t noticed, but the offices at CarShield Field were closed last week as employees were locked out by the city. Word is that ownership of the River City Rascals, PS &J Professional Baseball Club, LLC (headed by Steve Malliett), has some unpaid bills to the City of O’Fallon.
There is a city council meeting on Thursday and afterwards they will have a closed door meeting to discuss the future of the team in O’Fallon.
The Rascals have been a fixture in O’Fallon since 1999. They renegotiated a new lease with the city back in 2013.
The team’s lease payment in 2012 was $175,000. Under the new lease, the club paid annual rent of $50,000 from 2013 through 2015; $75,000 annually in 2016 and 2017; $100,000 a season in 2018 and 2019; and $150,000 a year in 2020 through 2022. In addition, the Rascals were making annual debt payments of $12,200 per year to help pay off $122,000 it owes the city. This brought a new playground, pavilion, and the installation of the all turf field. Still no video scoreboard though.
Rumors about the team being for sale have been floating around for years with all interested buyers saying that the asking price was far more than the team was worth.
Earlier this month, Malliett announced that the Normal CornBelters (his other team) were leaving the Frontier League to join a collegiate wood bat league in 2019.
Hopefully the city and/or league can step in and save the team from another terrible owner.