CASPER, Wyo. — The Casper Horseheads claimed on Monday, June 22 that they have been evicted from Mike Lansing Field. They said the eviction came after the Casper Legion Baseball organization took legal action against the Horseheads organization.
“After the Horseheads were forced to cancel the 2020 season due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Legion program has decided to evict the Horseheads from the ballpark effective June 23, 2020,” Casper Horseheads said in Monday’s release.
Oil City reached out to Jack Simms with Casper Legion Baseball and their attorney Ryan Ford with Williams, Porter, Day, & Neville Law Firm on Monday, but both declined to comment.
Article continues below...
The Horseheads say that they have paid Casper Legion Baseball over $135,000 over the last two years in order to play at Mike Lansing.
“In addition, the Horseheads paid the Legion program $7,500 in April of this year, after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States but with hope that the Horseheads could play this summer,” the release adds. “With no season and no income for the Horseheads, the Legion has decided to force the team to vacate the ballpark while keeping the $7,500 paid in April.”
“Despite the temporary moving of team equipment, the Horseheads remain committed to Casper and intend to pursue talks in the fall with the City of Casper regarding the team’s desire to continue use of Mike Lansing Field. The Horseheads previously held a sub-lease under the Legion program’s master lease with the City of Casper, leading to the payments of more than $135,000.”
The Horseheads say their lease with Casper Legion Baseball and Casper Legion Baseball’s lease with the City of Casper were both set to expire at the end of 2020.
“However, per a June 16 letter from Legion attorney Ryan Ford, the eviction action terminates the Horseheads agreements with the Legion program immediately,” the Horseheads said.
Horsehead team owners Mayra and Chuck Heeman said in the release that “the massive payments we have made to support the Legion program have held us back from maximizing what we envision the Horseheads to be.”
“We have, however, paid every single penny we agreed to pay, until we were forced to cancel our season due to forces out of our control,” the team owners added. “We’ve held on to the hope that we could work with the Legion after both our leases expired at the end of this year. With this action by the Legion, we’ve unfortunately confirmed that our partnership with Legion remains what it has always been, a one-way street.”
“The Horseheads will seek to negotiate a new, more mutually beneficial lease with the goal of turning Mike Lansing Field into the sports and tourist destination we all want it to be. We are confident that we will be moving our equipment back to Mike Lansing Field soon.”
The Horseheads say their offices in the Wolcott Galleria remain open.
“Gyzell Ybarra and Jerome Acosta will remain in place as the team’s General Managers,” the release adds. “The Horseheads will continue with plans for the 2021 season, including the Expedition League All-Star Spectacular, presented by Hydrotex, scheduled for July 19-20, 2021.”
The Horseheads also announced they will offer “Hoop it Up Casper” adult and youth men’s and women’s 3-on-3 basketball leagues and tournaments starting in late September.
“We are proud to associate with Hoop it Up, a great brand name in 3-on-3 basketball,” the release states. “The Olympics are adding 3-on-3 as a sanctioned sport and we see this as a way to bring something unique to the youth and adult sports landscape in Casper. This is a great way for high school and college age players to get in game shape before their seasons as well as for kids and adults to have fun with their friends.”
“Hoop it Up is a tremendous national brand with a successful history of competition and fun. We are working with Natrona County Schools and the City of Casper Parks & Recreation Department on sites and dates and will be presenting those details in August.”