With Fayetteville (N.C.) elected officials and developers split in recent weeks over the location of a potential new ballparks, we’re now seeing some agreement over a location near the Prince Charles Hotel — but nothing is close to being finalized.
In recent months city officials have pushed a ballpark site on the southern end of Murchison Road, and apparently another site is under consideration as well. The final site may depend on the results of a feasibility study scheduled to be released to the city on Monday.
There some complicated mechanics here. While Jim Crane, Reid Ryan and other members of the Houston Astros braintrust visited Fayetteville and expressed interest in placing a Carolina League team there, word is their ardor has faded. However, the Colorado Rockies ownership has reportedly expressed interest in placing a Carolina League team there; a Fayetteville team would be a logistical fit with the team’s Low-A affiliate in Asheville. With the Texas Rangers set to place a team in Kinston if the Cal-to-Carolina League shift happens for 2017 (a move already anticipated by the parent of one of the teams potentially moving to the Carolina League), Fayetteville would be the logical location for the second shifting franchise. While there’s little chance a new Fayetteville ballpark could be open by 2017, there is potentially an acceptable former MiLB facility, J.P. Riddle Stadium, that could be used temporarily if an agreement can be reached with the current summer-collegiate tenant.
Still, agreement on a site is a big step in development of the ballpark, and one that will signal potential team owners that the city is serious about professional baseball. From the Fayetteville Observer:
Mayor Nat Robertson and several members of the City Council said Wednesday that a location near the Prince Charles Hotel and a site on Person Street between the Market House and B Street also are under consideration. They said a decision can’t be finalized until after they see a report on a feasibility study for the stadium….
Robertson said city officials have not gotten the report. He said there have been discussions about putting the stadium near the Prince Charles Hotel.
“I don’t know if that will be reflected in the report or not,” he said. “Nothing has been decided for sure.”
The hotel investors received final approval last week for tax credits they say are vital to financing the $15 million renovation project, which will turn the 91-year-old hotel in downtown Fayetteville into 62 rentable apartments. The investors bought the hotel and some of the nearby land at auction for $200,000 last year.
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