The Fort Worth Cats have been asked to move out of LaGrave Field, their home since 2002, team owner John Bryant confirmed Tuesday afternoon.
Bryant said the Cats intend to play the 2015 season and hope to find a new home in the Fort Worth area. However, he acknowledged they might have to relocate to a different city in North Texas.
Bryant said the Cats are in “fine” financial shape and that had nothing to do with them being asked to leave LaGrave Field. Instead, Bryant said, it’s an issue between the owner of the property and the city of Fort Worth.
“We’re just bystanders in this,” Bryant said. “It’s entirely up to those two parties. If they can reach an agreement, of course we’ll stay there. But it’s something we don’t have any control over.”
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Mark Presswood, president of Panther Real Estate Solutions, which represents the developer of the property at LaGrave Field, declined comment on the situation.
The Cats, currently members of the United League Baseball, have played at LaGrave Field since it opened in 2002 and had become a popular team to watch for a few seasons after that, winning league titles in 2005, ’06 and ’07. However, they had fallen on hard financial times the past few years, when original owner Carl Bell sold the team to Bryant’s group in January 2012.
The team’s financial state had come into question, with vendors publicly complaining of the team being behind on, or simply not making, payments. But Bryant said those concerns have subsided and are not related to this most recent issue.
“We’re fine,” Bryant said of the financial state of the club. “We’re good to go for another season. We would like to see this matter resolved.”
The Cats played from the early 1900s to 1964, when the Texas League franchise disbanded, at the site where LaGrave Field sits.
The Cats resumed independent minor league play in 2001 at the Fort Worth school district’s Lon Goldstein Field, near Interstate 20 and Wichita Street, and returned to LaGrave in 2002 when the stadium was rebuilt.