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Lansing ballpark renovation over budget; $3M sought


The renovation of Cooley Law School Stadium, home of the Lansing Lugnuts (Low Class A; Midwest League), is $3 million over budget after bids came in higher than expected.

The project was originally projected at $10 million and budgeted accordingly. The plan is to renovate the ballpark in both public and private spaces, with upgraded concessions, clubhouses and a new scoreboard. The bid actually came in $5 million over estimates, but the upgrades were scaled back, leaving a $3 million deficit. The city will put in $1.5 million toward the overruns; the Lugnuts and the ballpark developer will each kick funds to cover the rest of the cost. From the Lansing State Journal:

Lansing City Council ultimately will have to approve an increase to the city’s bond amount, to the tune of $3 million, Gamble said. The request has been introduced and is on file with the city clerk’s office, where it will remain for 30 days before council can vote.

The team’s owner, Take Me Out to the Ballgame LLC, and Gillespie each will contribute more money to their pieces of the project. The team will pay roughly $1.5 million for new scoreboards — $500,000 more than originally planned — and pay higher lease rates that would cover half of the extra debt payments, Bernero’s office said.

The team’s lease would be extended through 2034. The Lugnuts, affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays in the Midwest League, now pay an average of $350,000 annually as a portion of revenue.

The overruns don’t affect the rest of the ballpark project: adding apartments beyond a centerfield concourse. That part of the project is being financed separately by the Lugnuts and Gillespie. Increased property taxes is expected to help the city pay back bonds issued to renovate the ballpark.

“The modernization of this facility will make Cooley Law School Stadium one of the premier minor league ballparks in America and spur an even greater renaissance in downtown Lansing,” Lugnuts owner Tom Dickson said in a statement. “You can’t imagine my excitement.”

Image courtesy of the Lansing Lugnuts.

RELATED STORIES: Lansing approves Cooley Law School Stadium renovation: apartments in the outfield; Cooley Law School Stadium upgrades receive initial city approval; Lugnuts propose apartments, restaurant for ballpark

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