Ontario is hoping to bring a minor league baseball stadium to its planned sports complex in the southern part of the city, potentially luring the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes or another minor league team.
The Ontario City Council on Tuesday, Aug. 15, will consider an agreement with Rancho Baseball, LLC, the owner and operator of the Quakes, that could potentially bring a team to the 200-acre complex in the Ontario Ranch neighborhood.
“Think of it as a framework for any kind of future agreement that can be put in place,” Ontario City Manager Scott Ochoa said by phone Monday, Aug. 14.
However, the team taking the field at a future Ontario stadium, may not necessarily be the Quakes.
Quakes’ President Brent Miles said Monday that the team has no plans to move away from Rancho Cucamonga. The hope is to bring two teams to the area: one for Ontario and one for Rancho Cucamonga, he said.
The Quakes are working with the city of Rancho Cucamonga on a long-term lease agreement and on needed upgrades to LoanMart Field to make it comply with Major League Baseball standards.
“Our goal is to bring professional baseball to a new state-of-the-art stadium in Ontario, while also at the same time, working with the City of Rancho Cucamonga — who has been a fantastic minor league baseball landlord for the last 30 years — working with Rancho to keep professional baseball, which would still be branded as the Quakes, in Rancho Cucamonga,” Miles said.
Rancho Cucamonga City Manager John Gillison said Monday that, as far as city officials know, the team has no plans to leave the city. The team signed a five-year extension on its lease, which will run until 2025, with the team holding an option to add another five years.
“We are currently, and have been for a while, working on a new long-term lease with them and we are working cooperatively with them on making the improvements to the stadium that will bring us into compliance with the major league standards and allow us to execute a new long-term lease,” Gillison said. “So we have had very clear discussions with the Quakes or with the with the ownership group, about the Quakes remaining in Rancho Cucamonga.”
The proposed ballpark would be a $95 million state-of-the-art stadium south of East Riverside Drive and between Vineyard and Archibald avenues and be part of the future Ontario Regional Sports Complex, which is already in the works, a city report states.
The city is developing 200 acres of land for the sports complex and the baseball stadium is expected to take up 10 to 12 acres of that property. The stadium would seat about 5,000 fans.
Earlier this year, the city approved the $172 million purchase of 112 acres in Ontario Ranch to build a new sports complex to replace the 54-acre soccer complex off the 60 Freeway. Construction of the complex is set to begin in 2024 and would ideally open in September 2026.
The complex will include fields for baseball, soccer and football as well as tennis and pickleball courts, a swimming center and a community center.
If approved, the agreement between the city and the team would have 20-year lease with the option for two five-year extensions. Under the agreement, the city would build and maintain the facility, as well as handle concessions. The cost of maintenance would be taken out of the base rent of $400,000 a year that the team would pay.
The city expects to have the stadium completed by March 15, 2026, in time for the start of that year’s season. Under the agreement, if the city has not completed the project, it would owe the team $20,000 a day for loss of revenue.
The team is expected to use the stadium for 86 days, while the city could use the space on non-game days. The team could use the stadium up to 20 times for non-game day events and would have scheduling priority.
The Quakes came to Rancho Cucamonga in 1993.
The team originally was affiliated with the San Diego Padres, then the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim before becoming a Los Angeles Dodgers’ farm club in 2011.