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Bellmead Moves Closer to Ballpark Referendum

Waco BlueCats

At a meeting this week, the Bellmead City Council voted to proceed with plans for a referendum on funding a new ballpark for the Waco BlueCats (independent; Southwest League). 

Bellmead, TX officials have been discussing plans for a new ballpark that would house the BlueCats. With the club’s Southwest League–a circuit conceived by Mark Schuster and the Ventura Sports Group–approaching its 2019 launch, Bellmead is making plans for a 2018 referendum on the funding of its new ballpark.

As part of the referendum process, voters will have to decide whether to approve a two-percent venue tax that would be added onto the city’s existing hotel/motel occupancy tax. If approved, the project-specific tax would help to fund a new Bellmead ballpark. More from The Waco Tribune:

The Bellmead City Council took the first step Tuesday toward getting a proposal on the May ballot for a 2 percent bump to the city’s hotel and motel tax rate. The rate is now at 7 percent, according to the city’s website. The council will send the proposal to the State Comptroller’s Office for approval.

City Manager Bo Thomas said a venue tax is a project-specific tax. Any money collected from the tax could only go to a multi-use venue and athletic facility that would be home to the Waco BlueCats.

“If the ballpark doesn’t happen, the tax doesn’t happen,” Thomas said. “We don’t get to impose and collect the tax if the project doesn’t happen.”

Both Bellmead and Royse City–another Texas community–have been connected to the Southwest League in discussions for a new ballpark. The circuit continues to move toward a 2019 launch, and was recently reported to be pursuing the use of Joplin, MO’s Joe Becker Stadium for one of its teams.

RELATED STORIES: Southwest League to Discuss Joe Becker Stadium LeaseSouthwest League Mulling Joe Becker StadiumJoplin to Hear Joe Becker Stadium PitchRoyse City Griffins Branding UnveiledBellmead Continues Ballpark TalksNew for 2018: Waco BlueCatsNew Royse City Ballpark Pitched as Centerpiece of Larger DevelopmentRoyse City Approves Ballpark-Related SpendingSouthwest League Coming to Royse City

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