The Huntsville Stars (Class AA; Southern League) haven't set a firm date for leaving Joe Davis Stadium, but a local attorney is already looking at buying a replacement for a new downtown ballpark.
Attorney Mark McDaniel, a former Stars owner during the Don Mincher era and attorney for the Southern League between 2001 and 2011, says he's in serious talks to bring in a Southern League replacement for the Stars. It won't be cheap -- a Southern League replacement would cost about $16 million -- but McDaniel says he's serious in his efforts to keep affiliated ball in town. From WAFF:
“Any time you’re talking about $16 million it’s pretty serious,” said McDaniel.
It’s unclear if there are any Southern League teams interested in moving to Huntsville. McDaniel believes it’s imperative that Huntsville build a new ballpark if they ever want another team to play in the rocket city.
“[Huntsville] is in need of a new ballpark and a downtown ballpark would be perfect,” said McDaniel.
Of course, if Huntsville had built a downtown ballpark for the Stars, owner Miles Prentice would have never sold control of the team to Ken Young, who is moving the franchise to a new Biloxi ballpark (date to be determined). But we're guessing a key to any new downtown ballpark is the participation of a local owner with some juice, and McDaniel would fit that description. Still, with available Southern League teams at a premium and Panama City engaged in serious talks about a new ballpark, it may be a race to see who can arrange a new ballpark first.
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