The city of Yakima (Wash.) will spend $75,000 on a study designed to ferret out potential sources of public funding for a new Yakima Bears (short season; Northwest League) ballpark on the city’s former Boise Casade mill.
The cost of the new ballpark is projected at $23 million; the Bears ownership has already pledged $5 million. There’s little money for a new ballpark in the city unless taxes are raised — and there seems to be a solid consensus in the City Council that raising taxes will not be considered — so finding other state sources of money is essential. A potential windfall from using a former industrial site as a ballpark ended up being a dead end, taking $5 million out of the equation. But there’s still the potential to land $10 million in state Local Infrastructure Financing Tool money, and with the Bears upping the amount they’d contribute, there’s potentially $15 million already in hand.
A new ballpark would replace Yakima County Stadium, which opened in 1993. The Bears ownership says they can’t make money in the limited 3,500-seat ballpark and looked at renovations before concluding it was a lost cause. The team’s lease expired in 2015.
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