After unveiling plans for a new ballpark earlier this year, Marshall University is in the midst of a fundraising campaign to help move the project forward.
In February, Marshall released its vision for a new 3,500-seat ballpark that could open in 2021 at the 8-acre the Flint Group Pigments Plant property in Huntington, WV’s Highlawn neighborhood. As part of that announcement, the university revealed that it would begin a fundraising campaign to help pay for the facility, and those efforts continue months later.
For Marshall officials–including athletic director Mike Hamrick–the goal is to raise $22 million for the project. In discussing the ongoing efforts, Hamrick noted that while that it is an ambitious endeavor, Marshall has had previous success with facility fundraising campaigns and that he remains focused on opening the proposed ballpark in time for the 2021 season. More from The Herald-Dispatch:
“You won’t know the total cost of the baseball stadium until you put it out to bid and it comes back,” Hamrick said. “The fundraising goal is about $22 million, so it’s not a small undertaking. But neither was the Vision Campaign, either, and we hit $33 million there to build the soccer facility and indoor facility and everything associated, which has been a great addition to our community.”
Plans for the new 3,500-seat baseball stadium were announced on February 21 when Hamrick joined Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, Marshall President Jerome Gilbert, the Huntington Municipal Development Authority (HMDA), former Marshall baseball coach Jack Cook and other officials to announce that the city had bought the land previously occupied by Flint Pigments Group for the price of $750,000. The purchase came courtesy of $500,000 won by Huntington in the 2017 America’s Best Communities competition and the other $250,000 came from the HDMA.
At the time of the announcement, Hamrick declared an ambitious goal of opening the facility in time for the 2021 baseball season. Although he admitted it won’t be easy, Hamrick said he has his sights set on keeping that goal on schedule and giving Marshall athletics its first on-campus baseball stadium.
“We just have to make it happen,” Hamrick said. “How many people have told you over the years, ‘We need a baseball stadium?’ I’ve heard it since back in 1976 when I walked on this campus. Now, it’s out in front of us and we can see it.”
Marshall is hoping to break ground on the ballpark next spring. Should the plans move forward, it would solve a long-standing athletics facility issue for the university by giving the baseball program its own modern venue. Marshall has commonly used multiple ballparks for home games during the baseball season, with Kennedy Center Field in Huntington hosting the majority of games in 2019 and some played 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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