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Cooper Stadium renovation moves forward

New Cooper Park

The transformation of Cooper Stadium is one step closer to reality after the Columbus Development Commission voted to rezone the former home of the Columbus Clippers (Class AAA; International League) from rural to commercial.

The plan from Arshot Investment Corp, calls for the ballpark to be converted into an automotive research facility, complete with a racetrack and entertainment complex. Arshot has offered to buy the ballpark as is from Franklin County for $3.4 million and would then spend between $30 million and $40 million on upgrades.

There’s a long road ahead before Arshot opens the facility: besides coming to a final purchase price with the county, another special permit must be acquired to hold concerts and other big events. And, of course, the full board of county commissioners must approve the rezoning as well, and that could be a contentious discussion: some neighbors aren’t thrilled with the prospect of a racetrack nect to their neighborhood, and some trustees of a nearby cemetery oppose the current plan of erected 35-foot-high walls to buffer sound.

Because of the uncertainty surrounding Cooper Stadium, we’ve included it in our list of Endangered Ballparks.

RELATED STORIES: Columbus grapples with future of Cooper Stadium

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