Marshall University could have a path to a new baseball facility, as a development concept in Huntington could include a new ballpark.
As reflected in our archives, various proposals have come and gone over the years for the Marshall Thundering Herd to obtain a new ballpark as part of a larger development. Officials have discussed the possibility of including both the university and a professional-level team at the ballpark, though nothing has come to fruition to this point.
There are signs now, however, that a plan could take shape. The City of Huntington is discussing a broad redevelopment of several properties between Third Avenue and the Ohio River, and splitting the development into several distinct zones. Within that plan, there is expected to be space for a new ballpark. More from The Parthenon:
The University Park Developmental Zone from 20th to 22nd street, which is past the Joan C. Edwards Stadium behind the Dot Hicks Softball Field, is the part which includes the proposed new baseball field. This part of the overall plan would be to improve the appeal of Marshall University.
Proposals for this zone not only call for a baseball stadium, but a conference center, hotel, places for eating, shopping and office space. Widespread speculation believes that if a baseball stadium was built in Huntington, a minor-league team would also use the complex. This occurred in Morgantown for West Virginia University when Monongalia County Ballpark opened in 2015. Along with being home for West Virginia baseball, it is also home of the West Virginia Black Bears, a single-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Marshall baseball splits its home games among three fields–the Kennedy Center, Linda K. Epling Stadium, and Appalachian Power Park, home of the West Virginia Power (Low A; Sally League). Appalachian Power Park primarily hosts Conference USA matchups, and is set to feature a game between Marshall and the West Virginia Mountaineers on April 18.