The push for an independent league ballpark in Jackson County, MI continues, as the group behind the project has been granted another extension.
Led by businessman Dan Dubois, the Commanding Curve Corporation has been trying to bring an independent league team–most likely from the Frontier League–to Jackson County. The proposal has a site at the Jackson County Fairgrounds and a potential cost of $8 million to $12 million, but funding remains an issue.
Initially a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Commanding Curve and the county was set to expire in June, only to be extended through August. Recently Commanding Curve requested another extension, stating that more time was needed to secure a naming rights agreement–which is seen as a key piece to the ballpark’s funding model.
The county ultimately decided to give the group more time. Under the terms agreed upon on Tuesday, the MOU between the county and Commanding Curve will not expire until February 28, 2017. Dubois says that his group will work to have a naming rights agreement in place by that date, and that they are planning to reach out local businesses. More from MLive.com:
“What we want to do in the near future is be in touch with several local organizations and find out what their level of support might be if we were to do this,” DuBois said. “Nobody really wants to step up and be first and be that one that’s the tip of the spear. But there’s safety in numbers, right?”
DuBois hopes to receive commitments from local organizations in the coming months, which he will present to potential naming rights partners to illustrate community support for the team.
“They’re getting their larger teams involved, so we don’t want to just stop now,” DuBois said. “We think there’s still a really good chance to secure a naming rights partner and we think the best time frame to do that is six months, although if we don’t get it done before Oct. 31, we think we lose the 2018 season and it would be pushed off into 2019.”
According to Dubois, the proposed price for a naming rights agreement is about $300,000 annually for 10 years.