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Populous lands Columbia ballpark design contract

New Columbia ballpark

A new ballpark in Columbia (S.C.) for a team owned by Hardball Capital’s Jason Freier will be designed by Populous.

There is a history between Freier and Populous: the Kansas City-based firm designed award-winning Parkview Field, home of the Fort Wayne TinCaps (Low Class A; Midwest League), another team owned by Freier. (Disclosure: Populous is an advertiser with Ballpark Digest.) The firm will receive $2,025,000 under the terms of the contract approved last night by the Columbia City Council. From The State:

Council was to have selected an architectural firm at its July 15 meeting, but the vote was postponed. Populous was selected from among five companies that applied, Gentry said.

In another matter related to the $35 million ballpark that will double as a site for city events, council learned that construction bids are being sought and all submitals are due back by Sept. 2.

The goal is a 2016 opening.

Still to be determined: the team Freier is moving to Columbia. Approval for any relocation should come this fall. The issue of Columbia is a big one, but just because relo papers have been filed doesn’t mean it’s a certainty the Savannah Sand Gnats could be moved to Columbia; the Sand Gnats franchise could move, but another MiLB team should be shifted to Savannah. Or the Sand Gnats franchise could remain put and another MiLB franchise shifted to Columbia.

RELATED STORIES: Savannah to Columbia? Relo paperwork filed; Columbia approves new-ballpark project; Columbia approves new ballpark; Columbia mayor: We have votes to fund new ballpark; New Columbia ballpark receives initial city approval; Columbia ballpark proposal up for vote today; Freier: We’re still pursuing new Savannah ballpark; Columbia lease negotiations underway; opposition arises; Columbia moves forward — cautiously — with ballpark planning; Freier: I may acquire new team for Columbia; Tanner: College, pro baseball can co-exist in Columbia; Freier: We could open new Columbia ballpark in 2015; New ballpark feasible for Columbia: study; This year should determine future of Sand Gnats; Columbia to study ballpark sites, feasibility; Sand Gnats exploring Columbia move?; Will pro baseball return to Columbia?Final days for Cap City StadiumShanahan: Blowfish negotiating move to Lexington CountyColumbia sells Capital City Stadium siteLooking back at Cap City StadiumClass A ball returning to Columbia?Columbia sells Capital City Stadium; Wal-Mart on the wayFuture of Columbia baseball in play


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