Concepts for the future Fayetteville ballpark are taking shape, as the city works with Populous on the venue’s design.
Fayetteville has spent the last several months working to generate the ballpark’s look and feel. A site plan was chosen in October and, prior to that, Fayetteville officials discussed how to complete the project at $33 million.
Officials have been pretty vocal in citing Spirit Communications Park, home of the Columbia Fireflies (Low A; Sally League), as a model for the facility that they envision in Fayetteville. Building a ballpark to the exact specs of Spirit Communications Park has previously been estimated to come in well above $33 million, so the decision was made to build a similar facility on a smaller scale.
At a recent meeting, one of the focal points was the discussion of how to develop a smaller Spirit Communications Park-style ballpark while replicating some of its main amenities. More from The Fayetteville Observer:
On Tuesday, committee members reiterated their desire to have a similar ballpark to Mike Sabatini of the Populous architectural firm, hired by the city.
Sabatini assured them their new ballpark will have some of the same amenities, although some will be of a reduced scale because Fayetteville’s stadium will be smaller. Those amenities include a 360-degree walking track, or concourse; an outdoor bar with seating; and a children’s play area called a “kids zone.”
“Baseball has become a very social event,” Sabatini said via a conference phone call in the City Hall meeting.
The city’s baseball consultant, Jason Freier, said the design and drawings shown Tuesday are very preliminary.
“We are trying to find a plan that fits on this site, and that we think overall scopewise will be in the right ballpark budgetwise,” said Freier, who helped design the South Carolina stadium and owns the Columbia Fireflies that play in it.
If everything moves forward as planned, construction on the ballpark will begin this summer, allowing the High-A Carolina League franchise owned by the Houston Astros to begin playing in Fayetteville in 2019. For at least the next two seasons, the team will play as the Buies Creek Astros at Campbell University’s Jim Perry Stadium.
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