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New High Point ballpark cost could reach $24 million

High Point Thomasville HiTomsThe cost for a new High Point (N.C.) multipurpose venue could hit $24 million, with half of that amount financed by the city in an attempt to revitalize downtown.

The venue, pitched by the High Point Convention and Visitors Bureau, would host some High Point-Thomasville HiToms (summer collegiate; Coastal Plain League) games as well as youth baseball, soccer and football tournaments and events. Team owners say they’re not leaving Finch Field after a renovation several years ago. It would seem wasteful to let those ballpark improvements, which included a new metal grandstand and concourse concessions area, go to waste.

Planning on the potential new facility is at that stage between the first proposal and the ask for money, when studies determine feasibility and the size of the facility. So that means a lot of chatter in the community about budgets even though none have been proposed. Still, given what’s being discussed — a 10-acre development with a 2,500-3,000-seat ballpark — a $20-million price tag isn’t unreasonable, and sports tourism is certainly a hot sector of the economy. From the High Point Enterprise:

“There’s been a number thrown out of $20 million, but that number is like a cumulus cloud; it’s not based on anything,” said Councilman Latimer Alexander. “We told them, ‘You raise half and we’ll consider (financing) the other half.’ That was the discussion from day one.”…

Bruce Davis said consultants and architects hired by the task force have finished the first phase of a feasibility study. The next phase will focus on market research and analysis, and will include discussions with interested developers about mixed-use projects in proximity to a stadium….

Cynthia Davis said she would like to see organizers increase the stadium’s capacity to 4,500 to 5,000, because the initial proposal she heard called for too much seating being devoted to luxury boxes that would not be accessible to the general public, in her view.

RELATED STORIES: High Point pitches new HiToms ballpark

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