Business owners, residents react to baseball stadium coming to Pueblo

Posted at 10:38 PM, Jun 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-21 00:38:08-04

The face of downtown Pueblo could change as we know it. 

On Wednesday, the Orem Owlz announced they’d become the Pueblo Owlz come 2020. The new team is bringing a new stadium, three new hotels, and 400 new jobs. 

For some Puebloans, the announcement is an exciting one with people hoping that the stadium will be great for family outings and the economy. For others though, this new business means they may have to say goodbye to their own. 

Gene Ragulsky said, "It’s kind of difficult for us because I love baseball. However, the stadium that’s being built it’s going to cause my business to have to go away."

Ragulsky is the owner of High Impact Archery. The building he rents out is located right where the new baseball stadium will eventually be built. 

"We’ve been here for four years and we had every intention on just continuing to grow at this location…I’m very frustrated because somebody else who has their own business that has a lot more money than I do swoops in here and waves a magic wand, and I no longer have a business because they’re going to have theirs."

Ragulsky and his family are now looking for another facility to move to. 

"What we’re running into is any warehouse space that would work for us the owners want quite a bit for the square footage…this is our source of income and we might not have it very soon, and that’s very scary for us."

For other business owners like Bob Walker, the new stadium is bringing a lot of excitement. 

"I love to see Pueblo grow. I like to see more going on. If this is the key to it I’m in." 

The hope is that it will draw more people and money to Walker’s shop, The Edge Ski Paddle & Pack. 

"We do everything from camping equipment to kayaks, paddle boards…I hope it’s successful. I hope it is a big shot in the arm for Pueblo."

Longtime resident Michelle Gomez said, "I think it’s a good idea. It’ll keep Pueblo busy." 

Judy Chambers, who frequently visits Pueblo, said, "Coming to Pueblo and going to a baseball game sounds like a great idea."

Minor League Baseball still has to approve this deal, but there’s no reason News 5 can find to expect it won’t go through. The owner of the new stadium and Pueblo County say they want to start construction of the stadium, hotels, and youth baseball fields later this year.