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The price of keeping MiLB in Bowling Green: $3 million

Bowling Green Hot Rods 2016The Warren County Downtown Economic Development Authority is committing some $3 million toward Bowling Green Ballpark upgrades to assure the home of the Bowling Green Hot Rods (High-A East) meets new MiLB specs.

We’ve been following the travails of MiLB teams finding the money to meet the new MiLB specs imposed by MLB as part of its takeover of the sport. We’ve also been hearing from teams about initial inspections of ballparks to determine what work is needed, and it’s been a fascinating process: some ballparks will need extensive work, while others are being nicked for things like latches being slightly out of position.

In Bowing Green, the EDA is budgeting $3 million for Bowling Green Ballpark upgrades. As with most ballpark upgrades to meet specs, the biggest expense is for new LED lighting, at a cost of $700,000. From the Bowling Green Daily News:

Other upgrades are mostly geared to the players, coaches and umpires.

They include expanding the visiting team’s clubhouse and offices for coaches and managers of both teams, along with adding better training rooms for both teams and locker rooms for female umpires….

These improvements come on the heels of other upgrades, including a new playing field installed five years ago and a state-of-the-art video scoreboard, that made Bowling Green attractive to the Rays and to MLB.

Funding for the ballpark from the EDA comes from a TIF district set up to back ballpark bonding.

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