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LaGrave Field in Fort Worth not being foreclosed on for now

Fort Worth Cats owner Carl Bell can hold on to LaGrave Field on the city's near north side, where the minor league baseball team plays, and some adjacent acreage, at least for the time being.

Dick Smith, the club's executive vice president and general manager, said attorneys for Amegy Bank in Houston informed Bell in a recent letter that the bank will not pursue foreclosure at today's regular monthly auction on the Tarrant County Courthouse steps.

In February, Amegy posted the 46.5 acres at North Seventh and Calhoun streets and along the Trinity River for the sale after Bell defaulted on $30 million in loans.

However, the bank's letter "does not say [foreclosure] may never happen," Smith said.

Bell did not return phone calls seeking comment Monday. An Amegy spokeswoman also did not return calls.

Bell and bank representatives have held several meetings since the foreclosure posting, Smith said.

In those meetings, Smith said, bank advisers told Bell that it makes more sense for the Cats to be operating while he continues loan negotiations.

A new agreement, Smith said, "would essentially give [Bell] time to get the sale of the property done."

Bell had planned a residential, retail and office development around LaGrave Field.

Smith said the team has been selling tickets for the 2010 season, which begins with a May 13 home opener against the Shreveport-Bossier Captains. The Cats play a 96-game schedule in the American Association.

The team ended the 2009 season with a 53-43 record.

The club has scheduled auditions March 25 for those interested in singing the national anthem at a home game. A two-day team tryout is set for April.

SANDRA BAKER, 817-390-7727

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