High Point is about to take a major step in its downtown ballpark project, as demolition will begin in early December.
The proposal for the new ballpark to be constructed part of a larger development plan in downtown High Point has been debated by local officials. As part of the broader redevelopment, a group led by High Point University president Nido 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.
Some details about the proposal’s funding have been up for discussion, but plans are taking place for the City of High Point to begin demolition in the area of the project on the morning of December 1. More from WFMY News:
Guilford County Commissioners considered adding county money to help pay for the 35-million-dollar stadium, but have yet to decide. That indecision prompted the City to take on a bigger chunk of the bill: 40 percent of the cost, versus 20 percent.
“We still have a little ways to go,” said Jeron Hollis, communications director for High Point, “But this was a really, really important step.”
Then this week, city council finalized some details to get the project going.
“Part of the discussion today was ensuring that we had the authorization to get the funds that we need to move forward to the next step of the process,” said Hollis.
The ballpark has been projected for a 2019 opening, and would serve as the home of 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.
In October, the High Point City Council voted to move forward with a “Plan B” funding model that called for the city to borrow $30 to $35 million for the project and pay off the debt on its own. That came a month after Guilford County commissioners opted to hold off for 60 to 90 days on making any decisions regarding the county’s funding participation in the project.
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