Government

More News | | | Editor

Augusta baseball stadium talks are 'wide-ranging'

  • Follow Government

Discussions between the city of Augusta and Ripken Baseball Group about building a new Augusta GreenJackets stadium got under way Friday, with Ripken Vice President Jeff Eiseman meeting with city finance, recreation and administrative personnel via conference call.

Back | Next
Artist rendering of proposed new baseball stadium in Augusta. Drawing courtesy of Ripken Management & Design.  Special
Special
Artist rendering of proposed new baseball stadium in Augusta. Drawing courtesy of Ripken Management & Design.

"It was a wide-ranging conversation," Administrator Fred Russell said.

Topics included making sure the team's owner was open to locations besides the state-owned Golf & Garden property, that developers were receptive to bundling the stadium with other items and that they were aware "it would be a joint project" not entirely funded by the city, Russell said.

Last year, Augusta Commission members vetoed a plan supported by Mayor Deke Copenhaver to build a $38 million multipurpose stadium complex at the vacant Golf & Gardens site, and voters in a straw poll also rejected the idea. In recent weeks, however, the issue returned to the table, and six commissioners agreed last week to explore stadium options.

Russell said the meeting included Recreation, Parks and Facilities Director Tom Beck; Assistant City Finance Director Tim Schroer; and bond attorney Jim Plunkett.

Eiseman appeared open to several locations around the city, and even vacant, privately owned Regency Mall isn't completely out of the picture, Russell said.

Financing options briefly discussed included using revenues from a tax allocation district, new market tax credits, payment in lieu of taxes and even a new state program that diverts sales tax revenues to regionally significant recreation projects, he said.

Read More

Learn more about the downtown stadium proposal in the topic page.

Correction

-- Because of a reporter's error, a bond attorney was misidentified on Page 1A in the July 2 edition of The Augusta Chronicle. His name is Jim Plunkett.

Comments (134) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 07/01/11 - 04:03 pm
0
0
Not for moving from the
Unpublished

Not for moving from the present stadium but if they do move it I hope they put in in the old Regency mall area, at least you would see more police patrols and maybe more businesses relocating to that area. Gordon Highway from the Carolina line to Fort Gordon is wasted opportunity.

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 07/01/11 - 04:02 pm
0
0
why should our sales taxes be
Unpublished

why should our sales taxes be diverted to a duplicate of something we already have?
For a not financial plan discussion, this sure does seem like a financial plan discussion. did we get railroaded? can mayor deke dance to michael jackson? you've been hit by you've been struck by a smooth municipal.

Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 07/01/11 - 04:04 pm
0
0
Broad... brilliant, lol!

Broad... brilliant, lol!

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 07/01/11 - 04:13 pm
0
0
No sales tax money. No bonds.

No sales tax money. No bonds. No property taxes. No creative public financing options. Nada, nil, zip, zilch. If they want a new ballpark they build it ALL with their own money. This should not be a "joint project" with the city. The people do not want this. Only Deke and Ripken baseball officials want this, so let THEM build it on their own. And some of the commissioners need to wise up and start listening to people who elected them.

Sweet son
10555
Points
Sweet son 07/01/11 - 04:50 pm
0
0
There is always the SPLOST

There is always the SPLOST money from the Miller Theater!! Probably better used for a stadium. Let the Symphony fund it if they want it!

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 07/01/11 - 05:00 pm
0
0
No sweetson.. because the

No sweetson.. because the people did not vote for that splost money to go to a stadium.. I say give the money back if it is not used for restoring the Miller. No bait and switcheroo with SPLOST money

countyman
20244
Points
countyman 07/01/11 - 05:19 pm
0
0
I can't for this project to

I can't for this project to break ground downtown.... The best location is along the Riverwalk where the tourist get to experience the local flavor.. Major developers wanting to invest millions into downtown Augusta says it all...

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 07/01/11 - 05:24 pm
0
0
More like major developers

More like major developers wanting YOUR money to build their field of schemes. And countyman, get real! Tourists do not come to watch a single A minor league baseball game. That's just ridiculous. Just like tourists were never gonna flock to the riverfront to see a 2nd rate science museum and an overpriced golf and gardens attraction.

countyman
20244
Points
countyman 07/01/11 - 05:24 pm
0
0
The Lake Olmstead stadium is

The Lake Olmstead stadium is nothing but an regular baseball stadium.. The mix-use facility includes residential, restaurants, retail, baseball stadium, etc..

Jim Jacoby the developer of Atlantic Station is behind the development and he doesn't build baseball stadium.. The Ripken Group is involved in the baseball portion of the project..

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 07/01/11 - 05:27 pm
0
0
These discussions make it

These discussions make it clear that these "developers" expect a significant expenditure of public money for this "joint project".. Commissioners need to wise up and "Just Say No!"

countyman
20244
Points
countyman 07/01/11 - 05:31 pm
0
0
The article doesn't mention

The article doesn't mention anything about the amount needed from taxpayers.. Plus the article did mention the tax allocation districts, new market tax credits, etc.. The comments are pure speculation at best...

The city you guys continue to hold up as a great downtown.. The city of Greenville has involved several private/public partnerships in order to complete major projects downtown..

countyman
20244
Points
countyman 07/01/11 - 05:37 pm
0
0
What if the people living in

What if the people living in Greenville said no everytime?? Alot of the developments in downtown Greenville were completed because of public/private partnerships similar to the one proposed in Augusta..

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 07/01/11 - 05:34 pm
0
0
They probably aren't 9
Unpublished

They probably aren't 9 million in the hole and when the voters say no it means no...what part of that don't you get?

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 07/01/11 - 05:36 pm
0
0
and what happened to the

and what happened to the condo component of this? Notice they are not talking about that anymore.. only "multi-purpose stadium".. hmm lets see.. exactly how many uses are their for a baseball diamond?

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 07/01/11 - 05:40 pm
0
0
T-Ball tournaments? Kickball

T-Ball tournaments? Kickball League?

countyman
20244
Points
countyman 07/01/11 - 05:42 pm
0
0
The voters didn't said no

The voters didn't said no because there was never an official vote on the subject at hand... Unlike the TEE Center where the majority of citizens in Richmond County actually voted for it..

From the Chronicle article on June 27, 2011.. ''Conceptual drawings of a downtown stadium show an outfield backing up to the river, office and condo buildings, and a steamboat-shaped restaurant at the levee level.''

If residential isn't involved then Jim Jacoby wouldn't be behind the development..

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 07/01/11 - 05:44 pm
0
0
concerts we got covered a
Unpublished

concerts we got covered a couple places. festivals fit into the commons. indoor stuff really hopefully can use the overpriced tee. what else is this magical grass square gonna do? stores can go into boarded up broad street addresses where they belong.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 07/01/11 - 05:50 pm
0
0
It's a ballpark.. not an

It's a ballpark.. not an amphitheater. You want concerts.. build an amphitheater like Chastain.

dougk
3
Points
dougk 07/01/11 - 05:53 pm
0
0
I, for one, can hardly wait
Unpublished

I, for one, can hardly wait to buy a condo in a baseball stadium in downtown Augusta, GA..
Countyman, countyman, countyman...I just don't get it.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 07/01/11 - 05:54 pm
0
0
someone who is deeply

someone who is deeply involved in this came on and complained when Susan McCord was referring to it as a Stadium-Condo project in an article a week ago.. and maintained that condos were not part of the project anymore.. so exactly what now does the private side of this plan to build if the condos are no longer part of the proposal? And btw, we all know how successful condo projects have been downtown.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 07/01/11 - 06:00 pm
0
0
dougk.. in countyman's world

dougk.. in countyman's world Augusta is not in a deficit. In fact he maintains Augusta is just booming with growth. Money is practically raining from the sky. In countyman's world money grows on trees and there's an endless supply. In countyman's world all of the other taxpayer funded "attractions" like Golf and Gardens and Fort Discovery have been smashing successes rather than busts. In countyman's world the TEE center will be the new home of Comdex instead of Las Vegas.

Piperpig
9
Points
Piperpig 07/01/11 - 06:11 pm
0
0
I want to know what cities

I want to know what cities have successful downtown baseball parks on one of their main streets. Both Charleston and Greenville's ballparks are to the north of their downtowns. A baseball stadium is not the highest and best use for this location.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 07/01/11 - 06:15 pm
0
0
piperpig, we agree on that. I

piperpig, we agree on that. I thought it strange that the Mayor kept using Charleston as an example when their ballpark is not in their downtown. It's as far from the downtown core as Lake Olmstead stadium is from downtown Augusta.

CorporalGripweed
0
Points
CorporalGripweed 07/01/11 - 06:15 pm
0
0
Another case of the "cabal"

Another case of the "cabal" figuring out how to sidestep the wishes of the people. Mixed-use? A stadium is only good for ball games and a couple of concerts a year. Get real. Restaurants? Who in the world will want to go to a restaurant after a ball game? Wake up people. This ain't Atlanta or even Greenville. This team draws maybe a thousand on average at best. This same "cabal" is hell-bent on building something this city neither needs nor can afford. And I resent these same "deal-makers" attempting to put their hands in MY pocket for something I'd only use once a year, if that. Especially when I can't even walk safely down my neighborhood street at night. I guess these "deal-makers" are hoping for air conditioned sky boxes so they won't have to rub elbows with the great unwashed.

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 07/01/11 - 06:17 pm
0
0
but the charleston one is
Unpublished

but the charleston one is named after the mayor so it has to enter the conversation.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 07/01/11 - 06:18 pm
0
0
and the comment of the day

and the comment of the day goes to CorporalGripWeed

Lori Davis
944
Points
Lori Davis 07/01/11 - 06:25 pm
0
0
I agree with Emerydan. Also,

I agree with Emerydan. Also, until the urban core is cleaned up both esthetically and criminally a new stadium should not be supported. This city only has 8 people to cut the grass. This city only has 8 code enforcement officers, thus the rotten core of Augusta. This city does not have a team or stadium that brings out those who have disposable income. We build a new stadium, and the Hill and Summerville crowd will descend? Please! Only in your dreams! No public funding whatsoever to a new stadium. If Cal Ripken believes that Augusta can support a stadium and his team an entire baseball season, let him build it. Then we might choose to support it.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 07/01/11 - 06:26 pm
0
0
"Countyman's World" ...

"Countyman's World" ... sounds like a great name for a comic strip. The editors at The Chronicle should consider it.

Privy
104
Points
Privy 07/01/11 - 06:27 pm
0
0
I am pretty sure that if it

I am pretty sure that if it is built that it will be to small to fully function as a beneit (Civic Center to small, 401 to small as well as problem plagued from the get go, museum, and lets do not forget that when River Walk was built that there was and is no appropriate funds to keep it maintained). What great need and for for who was the new courthouse, marshall's office, tee center, and the city has laid off employee's and plan to lay off more employee's because there is no money. Whether the stadium is built or not the long term use and maintenance into projects needs to be in the forefront. Look at any city's entrance ways, cemeteries, etc. and it will tell you alot about that community. Augusta has not been impressive in many years.

Riverman1
84926
Points
Riverman1 07/01/11 - 06:34 pm
0
0
So if it's possible they will

So if it's possible they will build at the old Regency Mall, what's all the talk by some about it being necessary to move and to build on the river so it will be an experience? Are y'all going to be ticked if they build it at Regency Mall?

Back to Top

Top headlines

SRS shipments halted until 2016

Savannah River Site can't resume shipments of Cold War nuclear waste materials to an underground repository in New Mexico until at least 2016 when the federal government reopens the facility to ...
Search Augusta jobs