While it has an agreement to play there through 2019, Missouri State University is unsure of its baseball program’s longterm future at Hammons Field.
Currently, Missouri State baseball plays its home games at Hammons Field, which is also the home of the Springfield Cardinals (Class AA; Texas League). The two teams have shared the ballpark since 2005, but the university is unsure of how much longer its baseball program will continue to call Hammons Field home.
A pending bankruptcy settlement agreement for John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts, owned by the late John Hammons–the benefactor who originally funded the ballpark’s construction–could reshape the ownership situation for Hammons Field. While Missouri State athletic director Kyle Moats says that the school has seen benefits to playing at Hammons Field, the result of the ongoing proceedings could affect the longterm facility plans for its baseball program. More from the Springfield News-Leader:
Court documents suggest the baseball field (which, on paper, is owned by the city of Springfield to benefit from tax breaks and financing) will become part of a new charitable trust set up in Hammons’ name.
Moats said he has yet to look past 2019 and that he and MSU President Clif Smart will have a conversation about the ballpark in the near future.
“I think we’ve benefited from having Hammons Field greatly,” Moats said. “My intent is that we continue to have it and I hope we do because I think it’s a great advantage. It’s a great ballpark. There’s not a lot of people who have that type of ballpark.”
The 2019 season will be the final year in a five-year contract. Moats said the school pays around $230,000-240,000 a season, which includes the cost of using the ballpark, indoor training facility and having the clubhouse and offices at the stadium.
Moats said he feels like the value of playing at the stadium is worth it, but if the cost were to change, the school would have to evaluate the situation.
Hammons Field has hosted Missouri State’s baseball program since it opened in 2004, and began hosting the Cardinals in 2005, the team’s first season in Springfield after it relocated from El Paso, TX.