Progress continues in the planning process for the Madison, AL ballpark that is being pitched for the relocating Mobile BayBears (Class AA; Southern League).
Madison and BallCorps, LLC–the ownership group that purchased the BayBears last year–continue to work on a proposed ballpark at the Town Madison development. One of the latest steps in that process came this week, when a Madison County judge validated warrants to fund the facility’s construction, reflecting one of the requirements of the lease and licensing agreement between the team’s ownership and the city.
Meanwhile, progress continues on the BayBears’ end. The team has still not received formal league approval to relocate, but BallCorps managing partner Ralph Nelson–who has purchased a home in the Madison area–indicates that that could come together soon. More from WHNT:
BallCorps still waiting to earn permission from the Southern League, Minor League, and Major League Baseball to relocate the BayBears. This is the last condition of the lease, but Nelson said it should happen within days.
“Those should all fall within the next 10 days,” said Nelson. “All of them. And then, at that point, the lease will be one hundred percent valid.” He added, “Obviously, I’m pretty confident about it. Or else I wouldn’t have bought this house!”
Once the relocation rights are acquired, BallCorps will announce a date for its groundbreaking and make its website live with a Name the Team Contest.
“And then we are going to really get into the community,” he stated.
The new 7,000-capacity Madison ballpark is expected to offer numerous features, including a kids’ zone, indoor and outdoor suite seating, and an open concourse. Madison has set a $46 million budget for the ballpark, and intends for the facility to host other events. The ballpark is expected to open in 2020, with the BayBears continuing to play at Mobile’s Hank Aaron Stadium in the interim. The city and BallCorps previously agreed to terms on a 30-year lease, management, and license agreement.
Madison 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. That franchise is now known as the Biloxi Shuckers.
Rendering courtesy Populous and City of Madison.
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