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Study: Macon can support Class A ballpark

Macon BravesThe greater Macon-Bibb County area could support Class A baseball with a new ballpark, as a study released today by B&D Venues proposes a $37.7-million downtown facility as part of a larger development.

There are some challenges to a new ballpark and the return of professional baseball, however, including a relatively small market size (the Macon-Warner Robins Combined Statistical Area was at 417,473 residents in 2010, and the population has only increased since then.). From the Macon Telegraph:

The company estimated it would cost $37.7 million to build a new stadium. The top three sites, according to B&D Venues, would be Mid City Square off Second Street, an area off Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Plum Street, and Telegraph-owned property on Broadway.

While Macon’s demographics would rank in the bottom third of cities with a class A minor league baseball team, there are benefits, such as a lower cost of living, that would make attending a game affordable, the company said.

A model for B&D Venues: Greenville, where a new ballpark for the Greenville Drive (Low A; Sally League) was seen as being instrumental in the development of the city’s West End area.

While not a recommended action, B&D Venues also examined the potential of renovating Luther Williams Field as potential affiliated venue.

This isn’t the first attempt to bring affiliated baseball back to Macon or neighboring Warner Robins since the Macon Braves (Low A; Sally League) moved to Rome after the 2002 season.

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