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Sarpy County grapples with higher cost of new O-Royals ballpark

The projected cost for a new Omaha Royals ballpark in suburban Sarpy County is now $24 million and could go even higher unless some value engineering is implemented, frustrating some county officials.

The projected cost of a new ballpark for the Omaha Royals (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) is now expected to be around $24 million if current bids are accepted, leading to some frustration among county politicians, according to this Omaha World-Herald report.

Whether or not this is a cause for concern depends on who you talk to: county officials closest to the project say the original $20.4 million budget was a goal, not a hard-and-fast number; an overage of $4 million isn't a huge concern. Opponents of the project are using the numbers to once again oppose the ballpark. And a few backers of the project now express some disillusionment with the funding.

Of course, so much of this is just chatter before final numbers come in, and it's not surprising the Omaha World-Herald, an avowed opponent of the project, is stirring up the flames of dissent. There's already been some value engineering done — capacity is now at 6,000 — and we expect more from the O-Royals and architect DLR Group. Without a final budget in place, it's hard to argue about the severity of any potential overruns.

RELATED STORIES: O-Royals sign Sarpy County ballpark deal; Sarpy County to go rural with O-Royals ballpark site recommendation today; Sarpy County officials hint at O-Royals ballpark funding plan; Sarpy County developers eager to host new O-Royals ballpark; DLR lands Sarpy County ballpark design deal; Sarpy County mayors express doubts about new O-Royals ballpark; Details of O-Royals/Sarpy County lease revealed; Agreement reached on new O-Royals ballpark; O-Royals, Sarpy County on verge of signing ballpark deal

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