Madison, AL took another step in its pursuit of the Mobile BayBears (Class AA; Southern League) on Monday, when officials approved agreements relating to a proposed ballpark.
Earlier this month, BallCorps, LLC finalized its purchase of the BayBears. As the group explores the possibility of moving the team to Madison, the Madison City Council has taken another step in the process of potentially building a new ballpark at the Town Madison development. At its meeting on Monday, the council approved an agreement with Populous to create a schematic design, and another with Turner Construction Company to handle construction management.
The votes by no means finalize a new ballpark, as several steps remain in the process. However, city leaders emphasized that Monday’s vote allows discussions to remain on track and gives officials a chance to receive more information about a potential ballpark. More from WHNT:
Council member, Teddy Powell, believed they needed to approve the agreements to get that information. Otherwise, he said, “We stop here.”
But council member, Gerald Clark, questioned this decision. He said this step feels like putting the cart before the horse, asking instead for an economic study on the project before they start spending money on architectural plans. He also expressed concerns that the stadium can not support itself financially.
But [Mayor Paul] Finley said the project is on a time crunch, and the design needed to happen now.
“We’re trying to meet time frames that they [BallCorps] in a lot of instances are bringing to us: ‘Hey, we need it to work by this time frame or else we might need to work elsewhere.’ We are going to stay in the game, but we don’t know what the game truly looks like until we spend this money” said Finley. “I’m proud of council for doing this. Now we’ve got a lot of hard work to do.”
As noted, the ballpark would be located at Town Madison, a 500-acre development located about 10 miles from downtown Huntsville on I-565. To this point, the club has received permission to explore the market, but permission to relocate has not been granted and would have to come as part of a later process.
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