Bring Baseball Downtown

If approved, Augusta could be getting a new baseball stadium. Why am I even mentioning this here? The new stadium would only be a hop, skip and a jump from the downtown Augusta offices of PowerServe.

I love the idea of bringing the Augusta GreenJackets downtown. I’d be more likely to attend a game The big question now is: how much is it going to cost?

Ballpark figures

Mayor Deke Copenhaver and the Ripken Baseball family are convinced that if they build a riverfront baseball stadium downtown, nothing but good things will come for the city of Augusta. On Tuesday, Mr. Copenhaver and Bill Ripken announced that a Downtown Stadium Exploratory Committee will study the feasibility of a ballpark on the Savannah River between 11th and 13th streets.

$20 million – The stadium’s estimated cost, which likely would be paid for through a public-private partnership. Augusta commissioners would have to call for a referendum to issue bonds, and “ultimately, the people will decide,” likely through a referendum, Mr. Copenhaver said.

“We’re happy to let the people decide, because we think this is a project that will be supported by everyone,” Mr. Copenhaver said.

6,000 – Number of people the proposed park would seat. Currently, the Class A GreenJackets play in 12-year-old Lake Olmstead Stadium. It is the third-smallest park in the 16-team South Atlantic League, with a capacity of 4,322.

The current stadium could see increased use by area colleges and use from interested charities such as the Salvation Army’s Kroc Center and the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.

4,000 – Available parking spaces within a 12-minute walk from the site on Reynolds Street, according to Mr. Copenhaver.

17 – Exploratory committee members. The panel will visit Durham and Greensboro, N.C., and Greenville, S.C.

The study could be finished by August.

$20 million seems like a lot of money, but it could help with the revitalization of the downtown area. I question the mayor’s assessment of parking. If we didn’t lease parking spots from a local property owner, we’d have a hard time finding places to park near our offices. Regardless, I hope it goes through…