As discussions over a High Point ballpark and development plan continue, High Point University president Nido Qubein is calling on officials to move the project forward.
High Point has been discussing the construction of a new ballpark that would anchor a larger downtown redevelopment project. A group led by Qubein has raised $50 million in pledges for the plan, with those funds intended for the purchase of an independent Atlantic League franchise and construction of surrounding amenities.
While Qubein said that he continues to work on that effort, the ballpark proposal has been a source of contention between High Point and Guilford County. Guilford County was asked to forgo any additional tax revenue generated within a 649-acre zone for the project. The extra tax revenue would be used to help pay off the loan for the ballpark, but Guilford County Commissioners voted in September to hold off for 60 to 90 days on making any decisions regarding the county’s funding participation in the project.
The city voted in October to move forward with a “Plan B” funding model, but Qubein said that he hopes local officials can make progress on this issue over the coming months. More from The High Point Enterprise:
In an interview Friday, he said he’s been working behind the scenes and is ready to move forward with major announcements in the coming weeks, including more details about the events center, children’s museum, park and playground planned around the stadium, as well as the names of donors who have pledged $50 million for these amenities.
“It deflected our attention to moving these pieces forward. One could argue we inadvertently misappropriated two months of time trying to get the commissioners on board,” he said. “Over the next two months, we have to accomplish a lot of things.”
The ballpark has been pitched for a 2019 opening, and could serve as a new permanent home for the former Bridgeport Bluefish. With Bridgeport’s Ballpark at Harbor Yard slated to be converted into an amphitheater, the Bluefish are being replaced by a Road Warriors entry on the Atlantic League’s 2018 schedule.
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