City Councillors gave the official go-ahead for the Edmonton Prospects Baseball Club, to take over Telus Field.

Councillors voted in favour of the City entering into a licence agreement with the Edmonton Prospects, allowing the college level team to operate and play out of the ballpark.

“I think it’s a good thing and if they can keep it going and keep baseball going for a little while longer, why not?” Councillor Dave Loken said.

In addition, Councillors agreed to allow the Prospects to look for a new naming sponsor, to contribute funds to support operating costs, and potentially make some changes to the facility.

“It’s a shorter agreement so how much capital that wants to go into something will have to align with the length of commitment that is in there, which is only up to five years,” Brad Badger with Community Recreation Facilities said.

“They do have some ideas around a more family atmosphere, do somethings on the left and right field lines, taking out possibly some smaller bleacher areas and replacing them with picnic areas and things, to give it a more community feel.”

The river valley ballpark has been called Telus Field throughout its 21 year history, but the sponsorship deal with Telus ended in 2009.

The City has used the title The Ballpark to refer to the facility in documents, and it’s expected that name could become more common.

“The prospects would probably go to that term if they don’t receive a new title sponsor, or new naming sponsor,” Badger said.

The licence agreement extends to four years, a timeline chosen on purpose – as council is also looking at options for developing the area, plans that may or may not include keeping the ballpark.

“Quite frankly, the reality of the ballpark might not be there once the Rossdale question is settled,” Loken said.

The City will have the option to extend the contract if it’s decided the ballpark will stay.

The ballpark was originally built for the Edmonton Trappers.

A new name will be subject to Council’s final approval.

With files from Breanna Karstens-Smith and Nicole Weisberg