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Resolution expected in Birmingham ballpark-spending spat

Regions Field, Birmingham

A disagreement between the Birmingham City Council and Mayor William Bell over addition spending on Regions Field, the new home of the Birmingham Barons (Class AA; Southern League), appears to be settled after a compromise was reached yesterday.

The issue: Bell proposed an additional $3 million in spending on the ballpark — to be paid for with the sale of city property for $3.1 million — as part of a $6.45-million plan only to see it opposed by the city council. The reason: some council members questioned whether the lease called for additional spending on Barons-specific features, such as furniture. So the council sat on the proposed spending, which also included $2.05 million in local park projects and $400,000 to for the design of a Negro Leagues museum. The ballpark is already costing city taxpayers $64 million.

The proposal is moving forward, however, after negotiations between the mayor’s office and the City Council. More detail will be presented to the City Council as to exactly what the additional $3 million will cover (right now the spending is centered on additional concessions areas and outfitting the team offices).

The new ballpark is slated to open April 2013.

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