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Authority Opts to Sell Planned Ballpark Site to Marshall

New Marshall ballpark rendering

Ownership of a planned Marshall University ballpark site is set to be assumed by the university, as the Huntington Municipal Development Authority opted Monday to sell the site.

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. The site consists of two properties that were acquired earlier this year by the Huntington Municipal Development Authority (HMDA), an action that helped move the planning process for the new ballpark forward.

Since acquiring the properties, the HMDA had been considering whether to retain ownership, or turn them over to the university via sale or donation. Members of the authority made their decision Monday, opting to move forward with a sale of the properties to Marshall. The university’s fundraising effort for the facility is ongoing, with a goal of putting construction out to bid by November, breaking ground next spring, and opening the new ballpark for the 2021 season. More from The Herald Dispatch:

Members of the Huntington Municipal Development Authority, or HMDA, were previously undecided about what to do with the two properties, which consisted of a warehouse and parking lot of the former Flint Group Pigments. They had considered donating the properties to the university or retaining ownership of it in a public-private partnership.

Following an executive session Monday, HMDA members agreed to sell the two properties to the university for $468,000.

HMDA members purchased the properties in February for $750,000, which is part of a larger plan to redevelop underused industrial properties in that area. That purchase was made possible with $500,000 won by Huntington in the 2017 America’s Best Communities competition and the remaining $250,000 from the HDMA.

University officials and HMDA members joined together in a Feb. 21 press conference to announce the future site of the university’s 3,500-seat ballpark. The stadium, which is estimated to cost up to $22 million, has been a goal for the city and university for many years.

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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