Madison, AL officials have unveiled an agreement with the Town Madison developer, marking another step toward building a new ballpark for the relocating Mobile BayBears (Class AA; Southern League).
Madison and BallCorps, LLC–the ownership group that purchased the BayBears last year–are working on a plan that will allow the team to move into a proposed new ballpark that will be constructed at the Town Madison development. The ballpark would open in time for the 2020 season, with BallCorps and the city working under a 30-year lease, management, and license agreement.
To move the project forward, Madison must come to terms on an infrastructure agreement with the developer of Town Madison. The city is now closer to finalizing that agreement, as it has publicly released some major details. The infrastructure agreement will be considered by the Madison City Council on March 12. More from WHNT:
Within the terms, the City agrees to support Town Madison’s new funding request at $40 million, increased by $18 million from original $22 million. The agreement also includes a 5.47% interest rate, down from the original 10%. Interest that has been accruing since 2014 at 10% will be recalculated at the new rate. According to the city, revenue generated from Town Madison would go directly to help with the City’s venue bond payment.
In the agreement, the developer will handle construction and installation of the full I-565 interchange, the venue parking lot, perimeter road, sewer lift station and other key infrastructure to support the venue.
“This agreement clears the way for a state of the art baseball stadium and multi-use venue at Town Madison and allows us to complete the infrastructure needed to create a truly regional retail and entertainment destination.” said developer Louis Breland in a news release from the city. “We have already begun construction on over $100 million of new projects at Town Madison and the addition of a modern baseball stadium will help make Town Madison north Alabama’s destination for new restaurants,
entertainment options and retailers.”
The BayBears would move into the ballpark prior to the 2020 season, but the team still needs formal league permission to relocate to Madison. Should the plan move forward, they would remain at Mobile’s Hank Aaron Stadium for the 2018 and 2019 seasons before relocating to the new Madison ballpark.
Madison has set a $46 million budget for the ballpark, which is envisioned as being capable of hosting other events, including concerts, group events and perhaps other sports like pro soccer and high-school football. The city is located in the Huntsville Metropolitan Area, which has not had a 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.
Renderings courtesy Populous and City of Madison.
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