Pelicans’ lease extension moves forward; stadium improvements needed for team to stay long-term

Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 8:38 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The Pelicans are close to staying in the Grand Strand for at least one more year, as Myrtle Beach City Council moved ahead with the extension of the team’s lease.

The overall future of the baseball facility and the team staying in Myrtle Beach is still up in the air, according to city officials.

City documents state the original 20-year lease agreement expired in 2018, since then, the city of Myrtle Beach and the Pelicans have agreed on extensions.

Myrtle Beach City Council approved the first reading on Tuesday morning for a one-year lease agreement with the team. City staff said Pelicans Stadium isn’t up to major league baseball standards. They said changes need to be made to the stadium regarding training rooms.

Assistant City Manager Brian Tucker says if upgrades aren’t made by 2025, it could be the end for the Pelicans in the Grand Strand.

“If we don’t do anything if we don’t make changes to the existing ballpark or have a plan by 2025, I think Major League Baseball then steps in and takes action to either remove baseball from Myrtle Beach or move them to a different place that is compliant,” Tucker told WMBF News.

WMBF News spoke with Horry County Councilman Gary Loftus about the changes needed.

He said he does not have a comment at this time.

As part of the agreement, Myrtle Beach owns 70% of the stadium, while Horry County owns the other 30%.

WMBF News also made several attempts to speak with Pelicans staff but did not hear back by the deadline.

The Myrtle Beach City Council will vote on the second and final reading during its meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

Stay with WMBF News for updates.