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Macon officials: We want to bring back MiLB

Macon BravesA decade after the loss of affiliated baseball, Macon (Ga.) area officials are debating whether to fund a feasibility study for a new MiLB ballpark in the city.

There’s been talk of pro baseball in the greater Macon area since the loss of the Macon Braves (Low Class A; Sally League) in 2002, mostly in nearby Warner Robins. While Luther Williams Field is one of the great old ballparks of baseball, it’s not really suited for pro baseball in its current state, so the feasibility study will focus on a new facility somewhere in the city. From the Macon Telegraph:

The bulk of the presentation at the downtown Tic Toc Room was given by Mike Woollen of Charlotte, N.C.-based Odell and Darren Varner of CHA Sports out of Kansas City, Mo. Both firms have extensive experience developing ballparks across the country….

Varner said the feasibility study would include many factors as to whether baseball could work in Macon, how a new stadium might be financed, and where it would be located. A stadium usually requires 10 to 12 acres.

The presenters said most recent stadium projects have been public-private partnerships, with private money accounting for four or five times every tax dollar spent.

Woollen has been involved in the construction of the new Uptown ballpark for the Charlotte Knights (Class AAA; International League). A decision whether to fund the feasibility study will be discussed this morning by the Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority.

Macon, of course, would squarely fit in the Sally League footprint.

RELATED STORIES: Study: Warner Robins can support Single-A baseball; Warner Robins puts off ballpark feasibility study; Warner Robins taking another run at pro baseball?; Macon seeking return of pro baseball; Luther Williams Field standing in for City Island Ballpark; Yet another independent league arises


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