Tim Bennett is in preliminary discussions with Foley, AL officials about building a new ballpark at an existing entertainment complex, with the potential facility planned as a home to an independent league team.
Bennett, the founder/owner of Overtime Sports and an owner of the Biloxi Shuckers (Class AA; Southern League), is pitching the potential construction of a new ballpark at the 520-acre OWA entertainment complex, which is owned and operated by the development arm of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. The ballpark would be incorporated within a development that already features a sports tourism complex–along with surrounding amenities that include an amusement park, retail, a TownPlace Suites by Marriott, and more–and be designed to accommodate an independent league team.
An attorney representing Bennett and Foley officials have confirmed discussions, but emphasized that they are very preliminary at this stage. The ballpark could be part of a partnership involving the two sides, though whether the discussions advance to the point of a plan coming together remains to be seen. More from AL.com:
Kenyen Brown, a Mobile-based attorney representing Bennett, described the conversations as “preliminary.”
Foley City Administrator Mike Thompson said that city officials have met once with Bennett’s ownership team, but that talks have yet to expand “beyond the initial contact.”
“The city is looking at the concept to see if it is something we want to spend more time analyzing and studying,” Thompson said.
OWA spokeswoman Kristin Hellmich said they have been approached about a minor league ballpark within the resort’s footprint, but “that is as far as the conversations have progressed.”
Bennett’s Kusche Sports Group recently attempted to take over management of Mobile’s Hank Aaron Stadium, calling for a placement of an Atlantic League team in the ballpark–the former home to the Mobile BayBears (Class AA; Southern League)–by 2021. However, city officials opted last month to proceed with plans for Mobile Sports & Entertainment Group to take over operations of the ballpark as part of a strategy that includes using it for college and high school sports, along with a variety of non-sporting events. Foley is located about 40 miles southeast of Mobile.