FRESNO, California (KSEE) — In light of Major League Baseball’s ultimatum for the Fresno Grizzlies to drop to Single-A status, or continue without any affiliation from an MLB team, Fresno City Council held a special meeting Saturday to go over options.
However, much of the meeting was behind closed doors. While we don’t know the specifics of what was discussed, Fresno City Council president Miguel Arias did provide a little insight into what was on the table Friday shortly after announcing the meeting.
Not even two minutes after roll call, the special meeting went from public to closed session. According to the agenda, the meeting is a real estate negotiation conference regarding the Grizzlies’ stadium, Chukchansi Park.
In an interview Friday, Arias said the meeting is a way to get an update on the situation with MLB.
“We’re hopeful to get some clarity on where they stand with the recent negotiations. Make sure we know what we have to do as a city to keep baseball in Fresno,” he said.
Arias also said it’s key to keep the team in Fresno even if a demotion happens, because last year’s loss of Fresno pro soccer team — the Fresno Football Club — still stings.
“It would be devastating to also lose baseball in Downtown Fresno, in Fresno in general,” Arias said. “The city of fresno is a baseball and soccer city. We need to make sure we have those entertainment venues available to our community.”
But, Arias is hopeful that if a demotion to Single-A happens, that fans won’t be deterred.
“What fans are looking for is a family atmosphere and that family experience — the Fresno Grizzlies team is good at giving that to all of us,” he said.
There’s another special meeting scheduled for Monday at 1 p.m. The meeting’s details on the city’s website are practically identical to Saturday’s meeting.
Monday is also the day MLB wants an answer to the Grizzlies’ ultimatum.