Morelle puts pressure on Monroe County to make a deal with the Red Wings

The International League set a deadline of March 1st, for the County and team to agree upon terms of a lease.

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - Some Democrats in the Monroe County Legislature are putting the pressure on the County Executive to keep the Rochester Red Wings playing at Frontier Field.

There are three resolutions legislator Joseph Morelle, Jr. sent to the full Legislature.

They include directing the County Executive to not only enter into a long-term lease agreement with the Red Wings, but also to submit a report showing where things stand with the $1.5 million in state grant for Frontier Field improvements.

"What has been completed," he said. "How much money has been spent and what money is still remaining."

Morelle also wants the county to give a detailed contingency plan for Frontier Field. If a deal is not made, and the Red Wings are not able to play at the stadium, taxpayers would have to pay for the empty stadium.

On Thursday, the International League set a deadline of March 1 for the county and team to agree upon terms of a lease, which has to be approved by the County Legislature. If not, the team would have to play elsewhere.

Some Democrats in the Legislature say time is running out and they would like to vote on a lease agreement on Tuesday during its legislative session, even if it calls for a special session.

"Like any lease negotiations, they take time, and I certainly understand that being in real estate myself," said Morelle. "I know that these items don't happen quickly. But the fact is that we're running out of time, the International League has put deadlines in place, and this is clearly becoming a bigger issue than dotting I's and crossing T's."

A spokesperson from Monroe County released a statement saying, "Like father, like son. While Monroe County has been working diligently with the team to reach a common sense resolution, Joe Morelle Sr. and Joe Morelle Jr. have been distracting from the process by playing political games. If the Silver family name is synonymous with saving baseball in Rochester, the Morelle name will go down in history for embracing partisan politics with the hopes of local taxpayers and baseball fans alike on the line."

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