A team could be Jackson County, MI by 2018, but another extension is needed to complete the deal, according to the project’s backers.
For the last few years, the Commanding Curve Corporation–which is led by businessman Dan DuBois–has sought to construct a ballpark on the site of Jackson County Fairground. This facility would be utilized by an independent league team, with an entry from the Frontier League being most the frequently discussed possibility.
In June, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners granted Commanding Curve an extension on an MOU regarding the ballpark’s. That extension was done to help facilitate additional investment, mainly in the form of ballpark naming rights, and is set to expire at the end of this month. Just days from the deadline, Commanding Curve is looking for another extension, this time through October 31. While DuBois and his group are still confident that the project can move forward, he says more time is needed to increase interest. More from MLive.com:
“It’s kind of like toward the end of an extra-innings game,” said Dan DuBois, who heads the group’s organizing committee. “You’re like, ‘Come on, we’ve got to get to the point where we’re going to win this thing, right?'”
The group must first decide internally next week if it’s worth extending the deadline. The next step would be to get approval from the county at the Sept. 6 Board of Commissioners study session, DuBois said.
“We’ve not gotten a ‘Hey, we really want to do that,’ or ‘No, we’re not, we don’t want to do it,'” DuBois said about the four groups. “Since we’ve not heard ‘no,’ we want to give them a chance to go through their bureaucracies and see if they can get it done internally.”
The team could be on the field by 2018, even if a decision is not made on a naming rights partner until the end of October, DuBois said on the group’s website. He’s traveling to Illinois this week to interview team sponsors to be able to communicate to Jackson businesses the value those sponsors received.
The ballpark is expected to cost somewhere in the range of $8 to $12 million, with revenue from naming rights considered a key component in the operation. MLive reported that the price tag for naming rights is an annual fee of $300,000 for 10 years.