The Billings businessman who donated $1 million to win naming rights to the city's new ballpark is now current on his payments.
Pat Weber, the city's financial services manager, confirmed Tuesday that Jon Dehler made a $50,000 payment to the city last week. The payment had been due July 1.
In a statement he released this week, Dehler said it was unfortunate that the payment was late, but "it was always a priority for me to get this obligation fulfilled in a timely manner. Now that everything is current with the City of Billings, I hope we can all focus on everything that is wonderful about our ballpark and our city."
Dehler, the owner of Fleetwood Gaming Inc., said he made the donation to the ballpark now known as Dehler Park as a way of honoring his father, Bill Dehler.
Dehler put up almost half the $2.2 million in donations that helped pay for the $12.5 million stadium. In 2006, voters decided to back a public bond issue that paid the rest of the costs.
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Dehler made an initial payment of $400,000 in 2007. Under an agreement with the city that was revised this spring, Dehler was to make additional payments of $100,000 a year through 2017, payable on July 1.
Dehler made an advance payment of $50,000 in April and then missed his second-half payment on July 1. Dehler's pledge gave him naming rights for 20 years.
"I want to thank the City of Billings for their support and understanding, and also those who have continued to support this cause in the face of criticism," Dehler's statement continued. "For those who originally opposed this project or the recent developments, I look forward to the opportunity to show you what a valuable piece this venue is to our great city."