Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin says he plans to begin discussions with Minor League Baseball this fall to bring a team back to the South Carolina city.
We’ve reported on some preliminary talks between the city and MiLB facilitated by the Columbia Blowfish (summer collegiate; Coastal Plain League) ownership, which also owns the Mobile BayBears (Class AA; Southern League). Other teams reportedly have already asked for permission to pursue the market but been turned down by MiLB, leading many to believe there’s already some sort of preliminary road map for bringing affiliated baseball back to what most perceive as being an attractive market.
Benjamin says a new ballpark could be part of an 181-acre mixed-use development at the former State Hospital on Bull Street. Developer Bob Hughes has a little experience with baseball as a core part of development: his portfolio contains redevelopment efforts in Greenville, which included the building of Fluor Field for the Greenville Drive (Low Class A; Sally League).
RELATED STORIES: Will pro baseball return to Columbia?; Final days for Cap City Stadium; Shanahan: Blowfish negotiating move to Lexington County; Columbia sells Capital City Stadium site; Looking back at Cap City Stadium; Class A ball returning to Columbia?; Columbia sells Capital City Stadium; Wal-Mart on the way; Future of Columbia baseball in play
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