After the Columbus Council approved $50 million in bonding for a renovated Golden Park, it was announced the Mississippi Braves (Double-A; Southern League) would be relocating to the Georgia city for the 2025 season.
The $50 million in bonding for a renovated Golden Park was pitched as an economic-development investment. The expectation is that by investing in an upgraded Minor League Baseball ballpark, additional investment–pegged by some city officials as up to $350 million–would be attracted to the South Commons area around Golden Park in the form of an onsite hotel, retail and residential.
The spending will be targeted both at improvements to meet new MiLB facility standards as well as general ballpark improvements (which, we hope, include more shade and cooling spaces; Columbus is hotter than heck in the summertime). Those improvements include new clubhouses (including a womens’ changing space), workout and nutritional spaces, covered batting cages, a new press box, new luxury spaces and new seating. Team owner Diamond Baseball Holdings agreed to a 20-year lease, with two five-year options.
Seating 3,500, Golden Park was first home to pro baseball in 1926 and hosted several MiLB teams over the decades, including the Columbus RedStixx, South Georgia Waves and Columbus Catfish, which ended up moving to Bowling Green. In addition, the venue hosted women’s fastpitch softball competition in the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. Columbus, located in west-central Georgia, has a population of 202,616.
The move leaves Trustmark Park in Pearl, MS and the greater Jackson market without a tenant, at least for now. It opened in 2005 as home to the relocating Greenville Braves.