January 10, 2003
South Georgia Waves owner David Heller says he has heard nothing from the City of Evansville that he has won the right to be the tenant in the baseball stadium the Indiana city plans to build.
However, no one in Evansville is disputing the statements of local tax assessor Paul Hatfield who says the city will announce on Tuesday that the Heller has beat out two other competing bids.
Some speculated Albany would be a temporary home after Heller bought and moved the finacially troubled Waves from Wilmington last March.
Heller insisted today that he has never considered several offers from other communties who were looking to land a minor league team.
Heller says that the Evansville deal though was something he could not pass up due to the city's population of over 400-thousand and the proposed 25 million dollar stadium that is being pushed by former big league greats Cal Ripken and Don Mattingly.
As for giving Albany a chance to support the team after only one season, Heller says season tickets sales for this year are disappointing and the team has added no new corporate sponsors.
He also was disappointed in the fact that even though the team moved to Albany three weeks before the start of the South Atlantic League season that attendance did not pick up when the team was contending for the first half title in the Southern Division.
The South Georgia Waves will play this summer in Albany and Heller says they could be back next year if the stadium in Evansville is not completed.
Construction on the new stadium is not expected to start until March.
Albany Mayor Tommy Coleman says the city never pursued the Waves to sign the three year lease both sides agreed to last March because it was saving the city money in improvements they were obligated to make but never have performed.