A new downtown Birmingham ballpark could generate $3.8 billion in direct and indirect spending, according to a study created by a research professional and local economics professor, presented to the Birmingham City Council yesterday.
The study, created by Conventions Sports & Leisure and economist Keivan Deravi of Auburn University at Montgomery, concluded that the city would more than recoup its investment; besides the direct and indirect spending, the ballpark is expected to generate more than $98 million in new tax revenues for the city. The new ballpark could cost as much as $58 million when construction and land costs are all accounted for.
Apparently this was good enough news for the City Council, who once again endorsed the decision to raise the city’s hotel tax to pay for the new ballpark and a downtown hotel. A private group, Corporate Realty, using money from the city, would build the ballpark, though the city would retain ownership. (HKS Architecture has been working on the project as well.) Still to be worked out: an agreement with the Birmingham Barons (Class AA; Southern League), who have expressed qualified interest in the project: a key for many City Council members has been the participation of the Barons in the project.
A vote on the ballpark project is expected at next Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
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