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Will 2017 finally see Cooper Stadium makeover?

Cooper Stadium, Columbus

It’s taken much longer than anticipated, but planners say the renovation of what’s left of Columbus’s Cooper Stadium should take place next year before a 2017 opening.

Cooper Stadium, the home of the Columbus Clippers (Class AAA; International League) before the team’s move into Huntington Park. The Clippers and their predecessors played in Cooper Stadium from 1932 through September 2008.

Cooper Stadium

Since the move, the ballpark has remained empty, and much of it, including half of the grandstand, was torn down in 2014. Arshot Investment Corp. has pitched an ambitious agenda for a ballpark renovation, Cooper Park: besides the racetrack utilizing the ballpark grandstand, the development would also include a research center and ancillary development like restaurants and a hotel, as well as a Richard Petty driving school. The total cost of the project could reach $45 million. From WBNS:

Brett Roubinek says 2017 a “safe” estimate as to when engines will rev at the old stadium site.  By then, the old skyboxes will be turned into suites, a paved half mile oval track will replace the overgrown infield, and a 9,700 square foot billboard will hang outside promoting the venue.

Once the track is complete, developers will turn their attention to another building on the property where they plan to build a hotel and conference center.

Developers hope to have part of the facility open next year, and when it’s all complete, they believe the dilapidated stadium will be the spark that re-energizes a part of the city that desperately needs a facelift.

It seems large projects always take longer to complete — which is certainly the case here.

RELATED STORIES: One last look at Cooper Stadium; Goodbye to Cooper Stadium; Cooper Stadium sale expected next week; Racing OK’d for former Clippers homeRacing proposal at Cooper Stadium draws oppositionCooper Stadium renovation moves forwardColumbus grapples with future of Cooper Stadium

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