There was a sign of progress toward a new Augusta GreenJackets (Low A; Sally League) on Thursday, when officials gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony.
Construction continues in North Augusta, SC for the ballpark, as the GreenJackets look to move into the facility for the 2018 season. The ballpark is being built as part of the Riverside Village at Hammond’s Ferry, a development that over time will include amenities such as housing, lodging, conference space, offices, retail, and more.
Work on the ballpark was underway well in advance of Thursday’s ceremony, but the gathering gave team and city officials a chance to hype both the facility and the broader Riverside Village at Hammond’s Ferry project. More from the Aiken Standard:
“This is an exciting day … but to me this is also the symbolic groundbreaking for the start of the development of Riverside Village at Hammond’s Ferry,” North Augusta Mayor Bob Pettit said, referencing the entire scope of the development. “It could not have been done without the leadership of (former) Mayor (Lark) Jones, the commitment of (North Augusta) City Council and the hard work, extraordinarily hard work of our city administrator, Mr. Todd Glover. I’m a late-comer to the scene, and I admit it, but I’m really excited about being now a part of this project which will make North Augusta a regional destination.”
Much of Thursday’s ceremony focused on not just the state-of-the-art baseball stadium, but everything that will come with the facility and potentially make North Augusta into a destination throughout the region.
“The bigger picture … is really what is going to be happening in addition just to the ballpark,” said Chris Schoen, with GreenJackets’ ownership. “We talk about the ballpark being a catalyst by bringing people to this site to see baseball, to go to special events, to go to concerts. Our hope is that we’ve got three- to maybe even 500,000 people a year (attending games), and with that kind of a catalyst all of a sudden you can fill places to eat – fast-casual, fine-dining restaurants, other retail. … The bigger picture for me is not just this ballpark, but the kind of environment the village is going to be creating here, and it is going to be a regional draw.”
Fellow owner Jeff Eiseman added, “This project, for North Augusta, it’s going to be a game-changer. This is going to be a true destination. There’s nowhere else on the river in the CSRA that has development where people can live, work and play. This is really going to be a transformative ballpark with not only what we’re going to have out here at the river but the way that this ballpark is going to interact with the community.”
The GreenJackets have been gearing up for their eventual move to the facility, and recently revealed that the inventory of suites at the new ballpark has already sold out. The GreenJackets are playing in Augusta, GA’s Lake Olmstead Stadium for the 2017 season.
RELATED STORIES: GreenJackets Sell Out New Ballpark Suites; GreenJackets Ballpark Groundbreaking Scheduled for May 25; New GreenJackets Ballpark Construction Underway; New GreenJackets Ballpark Moves Forward; Work Begins on Project Jackson; GreenJackets Hope to Finalize Ballpark Deal by End of November; Project Jackson Votes Set for Monday; Project Jackson Sees Model in Fort Wayne; More Details Released on Project Jackson; Funding of Project Jackson Under Scrutiny; March 2017 Eyed for GreenJackets Ballpark Construction; North Augusta Holds Key Vote on Project Jackson; Work Progresses on North Augusta Ballpark Plan; Details Emerge About New Augusta GreenJackets Ballpark; Mid-2017 Opening Possible for New GreenJackets Ballpark; New Augusta GreenJackets ballpark a go;Revised renderings released for new GreenJackets ballpark;Preview: New Augusta GreenJackets ballpark; New GreenJackets ballpark hit with lawsuit; New GreenJackets ballpark plan moves forward; New GreenJackets ballpark plan unveiled; Despite county action, North Augusta ballpark project very much alive; GreenJackets proposal shot down by county; North Augusta gives preliminary support for new GreenJackets home; Augusta ballpark plan unveiled; Eiseman, Schoen to buy GreenJackets; Opposition already rising against North Augusta ballpark; North Augusta ballpark project to be unveiled this week; Ripken Baseball selling Augusta GreenJackets: owners; Downtown Augusta ballpark back up for discussion; Ripken Baseball: Damage control in Augusta; Challenge in Augusta: Paying for new ballpark; Eiseman: We’re not tied to Augusta riverfront location; Augusta approves negotiations for new GreenJackets ballpark; Augusta ballpark back in play?