After years of pursuing a permanent baseball facility, Marshall University could open a new ballpark in March 2021, according to plans unveiled Thursday.
Under the plans unveiled Thursday, a new Marshall ballpark will be constructed at the 8-acre the Flint Group Pigments Plant property in Huntington, WV’s Highlawn neighborhood. Plans call for a 3,500-seat facility to be constructed on the site, with the project factoring into a broader redevelopment initiative known as the Highlawn Business Innovation Zone (H-BIZ), which seeks to bring new development to industrial properties.
The Huntington Municipal Development Authority is purchasing the Flint site, which is a crucial early step in a process that includes a fundraising campaign. Marshall officials stated on Thursday that their goal is to begin construction on the new ballpark in March 2020, and for the baseball program to play its first game in the facility by March 2021. More from The Herald-Dispatch:
Mayor Steve Williams, Marshall President Jerome Gilbert, Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick and members of the Huntington Municipal Development Authority made the announcement at the site before a large crowd that included current and former baseball players.
“This is our first step in building a baseball stadium for Marshall University,” Gilbert said. “People said it would never happen and there were many that have since been promised before, and finally we are here. Today is a great day for Marshall University and, as I said before, it’s been a long time coming.”
Hamrick said the planned ballpark will cost $18 million to $20 million and include locker rooms, a team clubhouse lounge, a team merchandise store and concession stands. A fundraising campaign has begun to provide the necessary funds, officials said.
“A vision is a dream with a deadline … ” Hamrick said. “The deadline is come this November, we want to put this out to bid for somebody to step up and build this stadium by March in 2020. It will take us 12 months to build that baseball stadium, and we will play baseball in that stadium by March 2021.”
Marshall has long sought a permanent home for its baseball program, which has commonly used multiple venues for home games over the course of a season. Baseball will play the vast majority of its home schedule this season at Kennedy Center Field in Huntington, which has received some improvements in order to be a viable temporary solution. Home games this season against Virginia Tech and West Virginia University will take place at Appalachian Power Park, the home of the West Virginia Power (Low A; Sally League) in nearby Charleston.
Rendering courtesy Big Green Scholarship Foundation.
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