Madison, AL officials are closer to finalizing a 30-year lease for a new Madison ballpark that is slated to open in 2020 for the relocating Mobile BayBears (Class AA; Southern League).
Steps have been taken to bring the BayBears to Madison, as the city is working with new team owner BallCorps LLC to construct a ballpark at the Town Madison development. Once open, the facility would host the BayBears as well as a variety of other events, including concerts, group events and perhaps other sports like pro soccer and high-school football.
For right now, the city is attempting to wrap up a few key documents relating to the plan, including a 30-year ballpark lease and management agreement, as well as a development agreement with the property owner. Madison mayor Paul Finley recently indicated that the process is moving along as officials try to pin down the ballpark’s cost, and that the lease could finalized in the very near future. More from WHNT:
Mayor Paul Finley said the 30-year venue lease and management agreement with Ballcorps is nearly finalized. It has been negotiated, and the legal team is hammering out the last small details. The council has already voted to give the mayor approval to sign that agreement.
So when could that happen?
“As soon as tomorrow, and as soon as two weeks,” said Finley. “They are trying to make sure they have as much as they need for revenue. We are trying to make sure we do too, while also building the right type of venue.”
The council and mayor are looking at a $46 million cost for a stadium, but an initial design came back higher. Right now, Finley said they have value-engineered a design down from that higher cost to $46.6 million, with some soft costs that are still in question.
As noted, the BayBears are not slated to move into the new ballpark until the start of the 2020 season. In the interim, the team will spend the next two seasons at Hank Aaron Stadium, its current home in Mobile.
Madison is included in the Huntsville Metropolitan Area, which has not had professional baseball team of its own since the Huntsville Stars (Class AA; Southern League) played their final full season at Joe W. Davis Stadium in 2014.
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