As the search for a potential new ballpark project master developer continues, the Chattanooga Lookouts (Class AA; Southern League) emphasize that they have no interest in relocating.
The 141-acre former Wheland/U.S. Pipe foundry property and surrounding area is being considered as the site of a new ballpark to replace the existing AT&T Field. If constructed, the ballpark would be intended to serve as the anchor of a broader development initiative by bringing new investment and amenities to the city’s South Broad District.
There is still plenty of work to be done on that concept, as the owners of the site are engaged in an ongoing search for a master developer who will map out the project. While the process of finding a master developer continues, Lookouts operating partner Jason Freier, the Chairman/CEO of Hardball Capital, is stating clearly that the team has no interest in relocating. More from the Times Free Press:
The chairman and chief executive officer of minor league operator Hardball Capital also said the Lookouts’ ownership group likes the Chattanooga market, noting that his biggest partner in the team is East Ridge native John Woods.
“We’re not going anywhere. Period. There’s zero ambiguity on this point,” said Freier, adding that “we see a lot of speculation out there.”
During the summer, the owners of the former Wheland Foundry/U.S. Pipe tract off South Broad Street sought proposals from master developers of the huge undeveloped parcel.
Mike Mallen, one of the tract’s owners, said Tuesday the search effort is ongoing.
Time will tell how discussions in Chattanooga unfold, but it should be noted that, under Freier, Hardball Capital has undertaken public-private partnership ballpark projects in other cities. That includes Fort Wayne (Parkview Field) and Columbia (Spirit Communciations Park), where the facilities were constructed through public-private projects that included a new ballpark and surrounding development.
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