Movement toward a ballpark in downtown Fayetteville continues, as the City of Fayetteville is now setting a $35 million budget for the project.
What is significant about this development is that the cost is lower than what was initially expected. Following a consultant report in June, it appeared that Fayetteville’s ballpark plan would cost somewhere around $46.9 million. That was using the city’s model of Spirit Communication Park–home of the Columbia Fireflies (Low A; Sally League)–and accounting for what that project would cost in Fayetteville as opposed to South Carolina’s capital city. However, as Fayetteville comes closer to reaching its memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Houston Astros, it has apparently found a way to cut the cost by more than $10 million. More from the Fayetteville Observer:
After the meeting, Councilman Jim Arp, who is on the committee, said the city wanted to set the budget for the potential stadium, after a consultant reported it might cost about $46.9 million at the hotel site.
The city would build a smaller version of a $37 million minor league baseball stadium that opened in April in Columbia, South Carolina. The city has hired another consultant, Jason Freier of Atlanta, who has cut design costs at other stadiums.
Arp said the $35 million ceiling that has been set for Fayetteville would include all costs, such as for contingencies and architectural and design work – and not just a construction contract.
Momentum has certainly picked up in Fayetteville in recent weeks. Recent comments indicate that the city should have an MOU with the Astros in place by the August 19 deadline, and a recent visit to Spirit Communications Park made an impression on local officials, who cited their approval of the venue as both a ballpark and a potential economic development tool.
The ballpark proposal will be back in the spotlight later this week, as Fayetteville is set to host a public hearing on Thursday. Current plans call for the ballpark to be constructed in the city’s downtown area, with the facility slated for a location behind the Prince Charles Hotel.
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