CarShield Field in O'Fallon.

(City of O'Fallon)

City Official: Teams Interested In Moving In After O'Fallon Terminates Rascals Lease

The city of O'Fallon terminated its lease with the baseball team for use of the city-owned CarShield Field.

October 26, 2018 - 2:41 pm

ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOX) - The River City Rascals are denying reports that it has unpaid bills with the city of O'Fallon for the lease of its home stadium.

The city tells KMOX it terminated its lease to use the city-owned CarShield Field early this week.

"We informed them on Monday that their lease had been terminated due to late payments," Tom Drabelle, a spokesperson for the city of O'Fallon, explains to KMOX. "They have approached the city and asked us to consider having some discussions with them, and we are certainly open to that."

The independent league baseball team has been playing in the Frontier League for 20 seasons, and says they "have every intention of playing baseball in 2019 and beyond."

The team posted a statement on its website Friday, a few hours after a report from the St. Louis Business Journal claimed the city had terminated its lease of CarShield Field to the Rascals. The report states the team was locked out of its facility Monday and was "repeatedly behind on rent."

"This is definitely not something that we wanted to do, but it was something that the city council felt like we had to do at this point in order to move forward," Drabelle says. "We know that (CarShield Field) is a real crown jewel for our city, and we want to make sure that we make the best use of it and that we protect our residents as well."

The Rascals say, "The reports that we have unpaid bills to the City of O'Fallon are false."

"It is our strong desire to remain a tenant in O'Fallon and move forward with our 21st season in the Frontier League."

Drabelle says the city has already received calls from other teams expressing interest in taking the Rascals' place. Drabelle declined to name names of any potential new tenants for the 20-year-old stadium that just had new synthetic turf installed last year.

The Business Journal's report states the team had an amended lease agreement beginning in 2017, in which the team would pay $75,000 in rent in 2017, and the annual rent owed from 2018 through 2022 would increase to $100,000 per year.

In 2013, the city of O'Fallon and the Rascals agreed on a nine-year lease that gave the team a big break on stadium rent. The Rascals paid $175,000 in rent in 2012, but the price of rent dropped to $50,000 in 2013. That lease included a gradually increase in payment over the length of the contract, but never reached the same price as in 2012.