A TIF district that would help build a new ballpark in Morgantown for the West Virginia Mountaineers and a short-season-A NY-Penn League team is close to passing the West Virginia Legislature.
A bill authorizing a $96-million in TIF financing for a new shopping center and ballpark had been held up in committee, partly because of politics and partly because of opposition of Bridgeport Mayor Jim Christie, who is seeking to bring pro baseball to his city — a pursuit likely to fail if Morgantown gains pro baseball. However, during some normal legislative horse trading, the bill was approved by the House Judiciary Committee and is expected to be approved by the full House shortly.
Under the TIF bill, developers will use sales tax collections from the stores, hotels, restaurants and other businesses in the expanded University Towne Center to sell bonds to build a $25 million exit off Interstate 79 between Westover and Star City, provide $4 million for water and sewer lines, and build a $16.2 million ballpark for teams from WVU and the New York-Penn League affiliate.
Developer Jason Donahue said the facility would resemble PNC Park in Pittsburgh, offering a panoramic view of Morgantown and the WVU campus.
“We’re designing it to be quite an attraction,” he told the Judiciary Committee.
RELATED STORIES: New Morgantown ballpark advances; TIF district approved for Morgantown ballpark; First TIF approved for new Morgantown ballpark; New West Virginia ballpark greenlighted by Monogalia County; West Virginia ballpark renderings released; Morgantown emerging as potential Bucs farm-team home?; Monongalia County approves WVU ballpark; Work continues on new WVU ballpark; WVU: We want new ballpark for us, NY-Penn League team
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