City of Madison (AL) Mayor Paul Finley confirmed his city is looking at a new multi-use venue for an affiliated MiLB team — widely assumed to be the Mobile BayBears (Class AA; Southern League) — to anchor a 500-acre development in the Huntsville suburb.
The sale of the BayBears to Arizona-based BallCorps, LLC was finalized this week after MLB declined to veto it, and BallCorps has been open about eventually relocating the team. Madison, AL has been reported as a potential landing spot, as discussions have taken place about the possibility of constructing a new ballpark there as part of the Town Madison development. Now we have confirmation of Madison as being a potential landing spot for the BayBears.
Here is Finley’s statement:
“As Madison continues to enjoy tremendous growth, we are committed to enhancing our thriving economy by providing destinations and entertainment options for our citizens. We have an exciting opportunity to build a multi-use venue in our city that would provide much needed conference, meeting, and event facilities as well as position us to offer the fun, regional entertainment option of minor league baseball.
“We anticipate and expect that the construction of a multi-use venue would attract additional family-friendly entertainment as well as new shopping and dining options, which is a request I get from the community every day. We are working hard with our City Council to explore this opportunity to enhance our tax base and develop this project in a way that will add to our quality of life.”
The target price for the new ballpark: between $35 million and $45 million.
The statement from the city continues:
“In coming weeks, City leaders will continue evaluating all aspects of the possible project, including zoning, infrastructure needs, design, timeline, cost, and finding financing solutions outside of the City’s General Fund. City officials will also continue communicating with community stakeholders as they explore this opportunity.”
As noted, the ballpark would be the centerpiece of a 500-acre development, Town Madison, 10 miles away from downtown Huntsville on I-565. That the greater Huntsville would be the target of an MiLB investment group is no surprise: the demographics are good, and other investors have sought to move a team there.
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