GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) – Grand Junction is welcoming a Colorado Rockies’ farm club next season.

The Grand Junction Rockies will begin play in 2012 at Suplizio Field after the city council approved a 15-year lease with stadium owners late Monday. The Pioneer League team will move from Casper, Wyo., where it’s known as the Casper Ghosts.

The Monfort Investment Group, headed by Colorado Rockies general partners Charlie and Dick Monfort, are majority owners of the team.

Dick Monfort says the Rockies are excited to be bringing the team to the Western Slope.

Suplizio Field is currently undergoing $8.3 million in improvements, and another $800,000 was needed to meet Major League Baseball requirements for minor league teams.

The Rockies agreed to pay $100,000, with the city pledging the rest. The money goes to locker room and training facilities as well as office space, The Grand Junction Sentinel reported.

The Grand Junction Rockies will play as many as 42 home games next summer. The field also is used by Colorado Mesa University and area high schools.

The club predicts average attendance of 1,500 per game and initial annual income to the city of $80,000.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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