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Owlz will stay in Orem after prospective move to Colorado falls through

By Darnell Dickson daily Herald - | Jul 23, 2018

So it appears Orem isn’t losing its minor league baseball team after all.

Last week, reports surfaced that the Owlz — who have played in Orem since 2005 — were considering a move to Pueblo, Colorado. At the time, Owlz owner Jeff Katofsky confirmed the rumors and said the rookie league affiliate would likely make the transition to Colorado in two years.

Not so fast, my friend.

On Monday, the Owlz sent out a press release indicating the team was staying put:

“The following statement has been released by Owlz majority owner, Jeff Katofsky: Previously, we announced a likely deal with the City and County of Pueblo, Colorado, to open a youth sports facility, multiple hotels and a new home for the Owlz. I have always stated that is was a dream and goal of mine to have a youth sports facility for boys and girls to learn baseball, team sports and the leadership and athletic lessons that ensue. I cautioned that the transaction was preliminary and there were a lot of details to finalize the deal.

“In the end, some within the City of Pueblo, as well as other related governmental agencies, were either unable or unwilling to consummate the written and oral promises that were made to our ownership groups. The impetus for this transaction was multi-purpose. Pueblo Colorado has a beautiful Historic Downtown with a breathtaking Riverwalk and wonderful, welcoming people. From a business standpoint, however, it is stagnant and in dire need of an anchor. Our goal was to invest approximately $50,000,000 in order to revitalize Pueblo through sports, tourism and growth that would bring literally thousands of people to Pueblo weekly during baseball season. In addition, Pueblo would have a multi-use facility for events, concerts, graduations, high school and college games, soccer and a host of exciting community gatherings.

“Unfortunately, those opposed to this economic juggernaut had the louder voice. For whatever reasons, we seemed to believe in Pueblo more that this outspoken minority. The Owlz will continue to enjoy the most beautiful ballpark in all of Minor League Baseball and its positive relationship with Utah Valley University. We wish our friends in Pueblo success and prosperity.”

Initially, the rookie league affiliate played at Larry Miller Field on the BYU campus as the Provo Angels, beginning in 2001. The franchise has won five league titles (the last in 2016) and eight division titles.

The Owlz are currently 12-24 and in last place in the Pioneer League South after consecutive wins at home against Billings. The two teams play again tonight at UCCU Ballpark, Home of the Owlz on the Utah Valley University campus.

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